Illinois Students Take Action to Cleanup State’s Waterways



Waterway Cleanup

Contact: Jeff Kohmstedt, Prairie Rivers Network,, 217-344-2371 ext. 207

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Schools across the state will be involved in the first annual Illinois Waterway Cleanup Week September 10 – 16, 2017. This opportunity, officially designated by the Illinois General Assembly (Senate Joint Resolution 15), is designed to provide students and community members with the opportunity to act locally to make an impact globally.

Prairie Rivers Network has partnered with Illinois Global Scholar to promote the first annual Illinois Waterway Cleanup Week, encouraging students and communities across our state to work together to clean up community waterways. Using Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell app, students and other volunteers will record cleanup data, placing it into a database of over 800,000 individuals across the world carrying out similar cleanups in the same week.

“This is an opportunity for students and citizens across our state to impact water quality right in their own communities,” State Representative Cynthia Soto of Chicago said. Representative Soto sponsored the resolution in the Illinois House. “It’s easy, accessible, and a great way to engage our students in civic causes that matter.”

Trash has serious negative environmental impacts, economic challenges, and human consequences in Illinois. To help address this problem, Prairie Rivers Network, the Illinois Global Scholar program, Farmers Insurance, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Ocean Conservancy, WE Day, and other action organizations have worked together to organize educators and their communities to make a difference.

“I believe this initiative provides a practical and sustainable way to engage students and citizens in cleaning up waterways across our state,” said State Senate resolution sponsor Sen. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood. “I applaud these efforts and would like to see more students engaged in service learning opportunities like this one.”

Educators and communities interested in joining in a waterway cleanup are encouraged to visit to register and find resources.

Prairie Rivers Network (PRN) is Illinois’ advocate for clean water and healthy rivers and is the Illinois affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. PRN advocates for cultural values, policies and practices that sustain the ecological health and biological diversity of Illinois’ water resources and aquatic ecosystems. It is a member-supported, nonprofit organization that champions clean, healthy rivers and lakes and safe drinking water to benefit the people and wildlife of Illinois.