It’s simple: Go to the National River Cleanup Week Web site, Either register your own cleanup effort, or find an existing cleanup in your state, and sign up. Or call (865) 558-3595. Registering your cleanup is free.

Students who participate in a an organized cleanup can submit an essay that expresses their thoughts on the topic of “Where Does the Trash Come From?” Write an essay of 100 words, or shorter, about the source of trash in your river. You may want to talk about why you think your community members have to pick up trash in the same spot year after year.

There are nearly 400 cleanups registered, in 44 states, so you should be able to find one near you! Go to to find the list.

E-mail your submission to by June 2, 2006. All submissions must include your name, address, (street, city, state, zip code), phone number and email address. You must also include your National River Cleanup Week 2006 registered organization name and river name: both must match the registration information submitted to NRCW.

Note to teachers and other youth group leaders: if you submit essays for your group, individual contact information must be included with each essay. If you cannot email entries, you can download an entry form from the National River Cleanup Web site and mail it to National River Cleanup Week, P.O. Box 10847, Knoxville, TN 37939.

Awards will be determined by July 15, 2006. The announcement and winning entries will be available for viewing on this website.

The contest has separate categories and winners in three age groups:

Elementary School – Grades 4 & 5
First Place – Perception Acadia Scout & Lotus PFD
2nd and 3rd Place – Vented paddling cap

Middle School
First Place – Perception Carolina 13.5, Lotus PFD
2nd and 3rd Place – Lotus PFD

High School
First Place Wilderness Systems Pungo 120, Lotus PFD
2nd and 3rd Place – Lotus PFD

The teacher or youth group leader of the 1st place winners will receive a prize provided by sponsors. The school (if applicable) of each first-place winner will receive $100.

There are other contests for adults as well! See the National River Cleanup website to learn details.

National River Cleanup Week traditionally occurs during the second or third week of May each year. It was originally conceived in 1991 by America Outdoors in response to a recognition that America’s streams and rivers were in need of cleaning due to the careless disposal of trash and other debris.

National River Cleanup Week provides cleanup kits, safety guidelines, support materials and trash bags for local cleanups that register during the designated week. Outfitters, agencies, civic clubs, paddlesports clubs, schools, and environmental groups typically organize cleanups.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is the presenting sponsor for National River Cleanup Week 2006. Perception, Thule, Wilderness Systems, the Bureau of Land Managment and the USDA Forest Service are contributing sponsors. Additional support is provided by Patagonia, The Shimoda Group and Timberland. America Outdoors, the national association for outfitters and guides, is the coordinating sponsor of National River Cleanup Week.

Non-profit partners are American Canoe Association, which is offering members insurance for their events, American Whitewater, National Forest CanoeTrails, and River Network.

Anyone interested in organizing a cleanup effort in their area is encouraged to call for a registration form from America Outdoors at (865) 558-3595. Registering your cleanup is free.