International Coastal Cleanup

On Saturday, September 19, 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, and 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.

How can I get involved?

Cleanup partners have chosen 20 locations in and around Erie as coordination sites for trash and information collection. We need volunteers at all these sites. We are also seeking partners to join us in supporting this event.

If you or your organization is interested in joining our efforts, fill out the registration 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.

Before you Register

Volunteer registration will help the event coordinator and site coordinators determine the anticipated number of volunteers at each site and prepare the appropriate amount of clean up supplies. Clean up supplies will be provided for volunteers, including gloves and trash bags. Masks are required and will not be provided.

Volunteer information will not be shared externally or for purposes unrelated to this event. The information provided will only be used to estimate the number of volunteers and the distribution of clean up supplies to each site location. Your site coordinator may contact you with additional details on the site meeting location or additional details as necessary.

Volunteers must be 18 or older unless accompanied by an adult.

Register for a Cleanup Site Near You

Registration has closed for 2020.

Thank you for participating! See you next year.

Alternative Registration Locations

Due to the large draw of volunteers at these popular cleanup sites, DCNR Park Staff will be coordinating volunteer groups, in order to encourage and ensure proper social distancing. These site coordinators must be contacted directly in order to schedule a volunteer time.

  • Presque Isle State Park – contact Brian Gula at DCNR at
  • Erie Bluffs State Park – contact Ray Bierbower at of the DCNR
  • Diver registration – contact Diver’s World at 814-459-3195

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 Deadline for registration is Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Diver’s World
1111 Greengarden Blvd
Erie, PA 16501
Phone: 814-459-3195

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

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