International Coastal Cleanup

About ICC

What is it?

On Saturday, September 18, you can have a first-hand look at what types of trash are littering your community, and how much of it is ending up in Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, and local streams. You will also have a chance to do something about it by joining people from around the world in the Annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) — the oldest and largest volunteer shoreline cleanup of its kind.

The Erie County Department of Planning & Community Development, Keep Erie County Beautiful, the Pennsylvania Coastal Resources Management Program (CRMP), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) have teamed up with The Ocean Conservancy, local organizations and businesses to clean up Presque Isle State Park, the Lake Erie shoreline, and local streams. This effort is more than a coastline cleanup. Volunteers will be collecting tons of trash, but more importantly, we will record what is found…how many cigarette butts, plastic bottles, straws and plastic shopping bags, etc. Cleanup partners will use the information to find out what work we need to do together to eliminate trash on our shoreline and streams. We’ll collect garbage from 9 a.m. until noon.

A new diving component was added in 2019 on Presque Isle State Park.  Interested Divers must pre-register by contacting Diver’s World or visiting Scuba Erie’s website.

Diver’s World
1111 Greengarden Blvd.
Erie, PA 16501


Deadline for registration is Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Volunteer Registration Form

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How can I help?

Partner organizations will have site leaders at 20 sites across Erie County to coordinate clean-ups and collect data. We need volunteers at all these sites. Contact a site coordinator for more information. We are also seeking partners to join us in supporting this event. If you or your organizations interested in joining our efforts, click here to fill out the registration form (jump to form).

Also, be sure to like and share our Erie ICC Facebook Page.

You can also download the Clean Swell app to join a global movement to keep beaches, waterways and the ocean trash free. Head out to your favorite beach and use the app to easily record each item of trash you collect. Then share your effort with family and friends.

Results from previous years

An astounding 1,080,358 volunteers in 122 countries picked up more than 23.3 million pounds of trash in during the 2019 International Coastal Cleanup.

  1. Cigarette butts – 5,716,331
  2. Food wrappers (candy, chips, etc.) – 3,728,712
  3. Straws, stirrers (plastic) – 3,668,871
  4. Forks, Knives, Spoons – 1,968,065
  5. Beverage Bottles (Plastic) – 1,754,908
  6. Bottle caps (plastic) -1,390,232
  7. Grocery bags (plastic) – 964,541
  8. Other plastic bags – 938,929
  9. Plastic lids – 728,892
  10. Plastic Cups, Plates – 656,276

For more information from NOAA and The Ocean Conservancy.

Lake Erie – People Places Pounds

In 2019, over 900 volunteers across 21 sites within Erie County picked up, counted and tabulated 2,825 pounds of trash from the Lake Erie Watershed.  That is over 1 ton of trash collected on a Saturday morning!


  • Asbury Woods Nature Center
  • City of Erie
  • Erie County Conservation District
  • Erie County Dept. of Health
  • Erie Downtown Partnership
  • Baker Creek Watershed Association
  • Benedictine Sisters of Erie
  • Carmeuse Erie
  • Fairview Township
  • Harborcreek Township
  • Springfield Township
  • North East Township
  • North East Marina
  • Girard Township
  • Mercyhurst University
  • Gannon University
  • Penn State Behrend
  • Edinboro University
  • PA Lake Erie Watershed Association
  • PennDOT
  • National Fuel
  • PA Dept. of Environmental Protection
  • PA Coastal Resources Management Program
  • PA Dept. of Conservation of Natural Resources
  • PA Fish & Boat Commission
  • PA Steelhead Association
  • Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
    Keep Erie County Beautiful
  • Waste Management, Inc.
  • Diver’s World
  • Erie County United

Register for ICC

Registration Deadline Wednesday September 15.

Contact ICC

International Coastal Cleanup
Lynn Armel, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator
Erie County Department of Planning & Community Development
Diver’s World
Matt Dickey & Emily Anderson, Dive Coordinators

Thank you!

Thanks to all the volunteers who have participated in the Pennsylvania Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup. Please share comments and photos of your ICC experience.
Join us on September 18, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Whether you live along the coast or miles inland you are ultimately connected to the waterways that provide you with water, food and recreation. Register to keep our local waterways and the entire ocean environment clean, identify the sources of debris, and help change the behaviors that cause the problems. For more information about the global effort visit Ocean Conservatory Online.