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Iowa Project AWARE

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Iowa Project AWARE

July 11, 2021 @ 8:00 am - July 16, 2021 @ 5:00 pm

Volunteer registration is currently available for the 18th Iowa Project AWARE river cleanup in Carroll, Guthrie and Dallas counties:

The Middle and South Raccoon rivers in central Iowa will be a lot lighter, and arguably prettier, in just a few short months. This July, hundreds of volunteers will spend their vacations muscling trash from sixty-three contiguous miles of the river between Coon Rapids to Van Meter.

Iowa Project AWARE, an abbreviation for A Watershed Awareness River Expedition, is scheduled for July 11-16. Iowa Project AWARE is a one of a kind, multi-day, family-friendly annual river cleanup. It is one of the only opportunities in Iowa for outdoor recreation and environmental education fully coordinated by volunteers, for volunteers. In its eighteenth year and after a pause for the 2020 pandemic, plans for the event are underway for summer 2021.

The State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa has been a key partner in this event for more than 15 years. The 2021 event includes a continuation of this supporting role.

During the cleanup, participants paddle canoes searching for river and riverbank trash by day and camping in local campgrounds and communities by night. Throughout the week volunteers also attend educational programs emphasizing local history, culture and nature. While the expedition lasts six days, participants can register for as few or as many days as they choose. Canoes, paddling equipment, and daily meals are included with daily registration fees.

A.J. Seely and Robert Kempf with Emergency Management Agency of Dallas and Guthrie counties, respectively, state in a previous letter of support, “Iowa Project AWARE has a long-standing legacy of bringing hundreds of volunteers from around the state together to clean up Iowa’s rivers in a weeklong event. A clean river is vital to our communities. From visitors to residents, we take pride in maintaining a safe and clean river, allowing paddlers and anglers opportunity to take part in natures blessings for years to come.”

For nearly two decades, nearly 3,000 volunteers from across the globe have paddled 1,260 river miles of Iowa waters. Their efforts removed 444 tons of trash with more than 75 percent recycled and reclaimed as a community resource. For more information about Iowa Project AWARE, or to register as a river cleanup volunteer please visit


Registration fees are based on how early you register and how many days you attend:

  • Presale registration (by April 15): $25/day
  • Early bird registration (by May 15): $30/day
  • Regular registration (by June 15): $35/day
  • Late registration (after June 15): $45/day

For complete details, visit Iowa Project AWARE or check out the recently distributed press release found below.

Clean rivers need sponsors too, so please share with your friends, families and employers. To support dedicated, hard-working, volunteer garbage collectors, simply visit the Iowa Project AWARE website to donate online.


July 11, 2021 @ 8:00 am
July 16, 2021 @ 5:00 pm