Friends of the Shiawassee River 28th Annual River Cleanup

Monday, July 10, 2023 9:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

 The Friends of the Shiawassee River were founded in 1996 by a group of individuals who wanted to continue the work of Owosso (MI) resident, Jim Miner. Beginning in the 1970’s, Miner organized some of the first volunteer river cleanup events in Owosso. These events inspired a generation of river stewards, the formation of the Friends, and the Annual River Cleanup event. 

The Friends of the Shiawassee River’s 28th Annual River Cleanup will again be held as a week-long event, from July 22-29. Last year, nearly 200 people participated in the River Cleanup event, and the Friends hope to increase participation and sections of the river cleaned to make the biggest possible impact. Volunteers clean in and along the river, on foot and in boats, and span over 60 miles of the Shiawassee River, in three counties. Last year, this cleanup effort removed 20 cubic yards of refuge from the river, as well as dozens of tires. Removing garbage pollution benefits not only the aquatic and terrestrial wildlife that rely on the river, but also improves the safety and aesthetic qualities of the river for recreationalists. Volunteers are able to select their group, date, time, and section of the river they would like to clean. You’re encouraged to register now through the Friends’ website,, under the Events tab.  

The Shiawassee County Health Department Tire Collecting will take place in conjunction with the River Cleanup, on July 29, from 8am - 12pm (or until the trailer is full), at the Shiawassee County Road Commission, 701 W. Corunna Ave. Corunna, MI. River Cleanup participants retrieving tires from the river will receive information on how they can recycle the tires free of charge. Others can recycle auto tires for $2 (without rim) or $3 (with rim) and semi-truck tires for $5 (without rim) or $10 (with rim). 

River Cleanup participants are urged to email photos of their cleanup activities to or send them to the Friends via Facebook Messenger, for the Friends’ Facebook page. 

The Friends are thankful to their 2023 River Cleanup Event Sponsors. This project has been funded in part through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Nonpoint Source Program with additional event sponsorship provided by High Life Farms. In-kind sponsorship is provided by Waste Management and the Shiawassee County Health Department. Helping Hands sponsorship is provided by Chesaning Area Conservation Club, J&S Tire and Service, Saginaw County Parks & Recreation Commission, Village of Chesaning, and VMD & Associates. Additional support is provided by Chesaning Township and St. Peter Parish of Chesaning.

The Friends of the Shiawassee River is a 501©3 nonprofit organization governed by a local board of directors and supported by a dedicated group of volunteers and generous donors.  The mission of the Friends is to help the community Care, Share, and Enjoy the Shiawassee River.  The Friends are committed to improving the river environment and promoting the responsible use of/enhancing the appreciation of the River throughout its watershed.                                                                        

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