The Charles River Cleanup is one of the largest Earth Day Cleanups in the country! Join us in protecting and preserving the river.

Esplanade and City Skyline Brandon Hulin


The 22nd Annual Charles River Cleanup will be held from Monday, April 19 to Sunday, April 25 this year.

Please note that the status of the 22nd Charles River Earth Day Cleanup is dependent on current Covid-19 guidance. Click here to read about our Covid-19 safety protocols. ​We look forward to safely continuing the largest river clean-up in the country this year!

Registration for this year's Charles River Cleanup is now available. Visit our Registration page to learn more on how to register for different cleanup events this year hosted by participating organizations.


2021 Charles River Cleanup Map

Please see the map below to view different volunteer site locations for this year's cleanup. Each section of the 2021 Charles River Cleanup map identifies specific cleanup locations hosted by the different organizations associated with this year's cleanup. 


Volunteer Engagement Fees

Coordinating the Charles River Cleanup has both operational and material costs for the Cleanup’s program partners. Because of this, we ask our corporate and for-profit volunteer groups to support our management of this great event with a tax-deductible donation to the organization hosting your work site. This mandatory fee is based on the size of your group. Additionally, we ask for a small suggested donation from individual and non-profit participants to assist with event costs.

Corporate Groups

  • Groups of 10-25 = $1,500

  • Groups of 25-50 = $2,000

  • Groups of 50-75 = $2,500

  • Groups of 75-100 = $3,000

  • Groups of 100+ = Please Inquire

Non-Profits and Schools

We suggest a small donation for non-profits and schools to help support the execution of this day. Please inquire with your host site for more information.


Individuals who would like to participate alone or with friends and family are more than welcome! We suggest a donation of $5 per person to participate.

*If you have a group that is interested in participating and these levels are too high for you, we do not want to deter you from joining us this year! Please reach out to the Cleanup Coordinator in your chosen region to discuss participation.

**If you are a non-profit or community group, we suggest a donation of $5 per person. 


History of the Charles River Cleanup

The Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup was started by the Charles River Watershed Association in 2009, in an effort to clean-up the river. It builds on a national effort as part of American Rivers’ National River Cleanup®, which to date, has removed over 25 million pounds of trash from America’s waterways. From 2016 to 2019, the Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup was recognized by American Rivers for the Most Pounds of Trash Collected and Most Volunteers Mobilized.​

Our Cleanup brings together over 3,500 volunteers each year to pick up litter, remove invasive species, and assist with park maintenance along all 80 miles of the Charles River and the 1,100 acres of Emerald Necklace park land surrounding the Muddy River. Residents are drawn to the popular Charles River Cleanup from a desire to give back to their community while enjoying the beauty and wildlife along the river. Volunteers hold onto the connections they establish during this day of stewardship by returning to the Charles and Muddy Rivers to exercise, play, and enjoy nature throughout the year.


Program Partners

The Charles River Cleanup is made possible by the following organizations:

Muddy Water Initiative