EASTON, Md. – Join the Trash-Free ShoreRivers Campaign to clean up our waterways. From now until September, ShoreRivers will provide supplies (including trash bags and work gloves) and limited edition stickers for clean water advocates who clean up trash from their local public spaces and then send us photos of their efforts for social media shout outs. This campaign is a great segue into the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Project Clean Stream program, a Bay-wide effort to clean up trash, which kicks off September 11.

A recent Google Community Mobility Study showed that public spaces in Maryland have seen a 144% increase in visitation since this time last year. Our communities have suffered during this pandemic, and now look to the energizing and healing power of nature for physical and mental relief. ShoreRivers is proud to see our community taking a common interest in our waterways. Unfortunately, increased park visitation often results in increased litter, which ultimately ends up in our rivers.

“Every morning I take a pair of grabbers and some trash bags, and head down to my local park with my dog Rogue,” says ShoreRivers Choptank Riverkeeper & Director of Riverkeeper Programs Matt Pluta. “There is something empowering about taking ownership of a public space, and being outside and doing good for the environment has lifted my spirits. I hope the rest of our community follows suit in picking up trash to keep our rivers and shared spaces clean.”

To join the Trash-Free campaign, head down to your local park or public space, pick up trash, take a photo, and post on your social media accounts with the hashtag #trashfreeshorerivers—it’s as simple as that! ShoreRivers will also post participants’ photos to help promote cleaning up our parks and waterways. Supplies are available for pickup by appointment at ShoreRivers’ offices in either Easton or Chestertown. Please contact Connor Liu at cliu@shorerivers.org with photos and/or questions about clean-up supplies. Once you have sent a photo of your picking up trash pick-up, you will receive your limited edition sticker!

Trash-Free ShoreRivers is an extension of the Don’t Paddle Past It campaign, a litter cleanup and outreach program that encourages boaters to stop littering and to pick up trash in the water or along the shoreline. These campaigns are made possible by a grant through The Maryland Environmental Trust in partnership with the Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Forever Maryland Foundation.

While participating in this campaign, ShoreRivers recommends strict adherence to social distancing guidelines and health safety protocols, including the use of gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer before, during, and after trash cleanups. ShoreRivers is committed to healthy waterways across Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and we appreciate our supporters’ participation in this campaign to prevent trash from ending up in our local rivers.