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By the Numbers: Volunteer Stream Cleanup program nets 31K pounds of trash in 2023

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) helps oversee the Volunteer Stream Cleanup program -- part of the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps).

Trash collected during the Newaygo County Conservation District cleanup, with the help of an EGLE grant.

Trash collected during the Newaygo County Conservation District cleanup.


In 2023, EGLE made available $44,588 in grant funding to local units of government to implement trash cleanup of rivers, streams, and creeks. Municipalities often partner with nonprofit organizations or other volunteer groups to carry out cleanups. Funding comes from the sale of the state's Water Quality Protection license plates.

Here's a summary of the program impact in 2023:

  • Thirteen organizations applied, two were not eligible, and the remaining 11 were funded for a total of $36,944: Benzie Conservation District, Branch Conservation District, City of Ann Arbor, City of Cheboygan, City of Flint, City of Lansing, Grand Traverse Conservation District, Muskegon Conservation District, Newaygo Conservation District, St. Joseph Conservation District, and VanBuren Conservation District.
  • Total local match (25% required) $31,096 (includes volunteer labor).
  • 1,674 volunteers participated with 3,699 hours of work.
  • 222 miles of rivers/streams were cleaned.
  • Weighed garbage was 31,200 pounds. (More was collected but not weighed.)
  • Most interesting finds included a tool chest full of tools, electric scooters, an unopened safe, grill, reclining chair, rubber duck, Little Tykes toy, credit card, tractor tire, signpost, and a Barbie car.

MiCorps recently announced that it is accepting 2024 funding proposals for the volunteer stream cleanup and monitoring grant programs.