Trash Free River Program

TIA has partnered with Save The River in a united effort to help keep our river clean!


Join the Thousand Islands Association and Save the River for a bi-national river cleanup to promote river preservation and environmental awareness on Saturday, June 10th, and Saturday, August 19th. During the event and with the combined efforts of the TIA and STR, shorelines of the St. Lawrence River on the Canadian and American side and their surrounding areas will be cleaned, collecting garbage, plastic, and anything else that is come across! From 9am-12pm, join us to keep our river clean and safe between Gananoque and Rockport. Visit this link for registration

Want to register on the American side of the St. Lawrence River? Visit Save The River’s website here

How it works:

  • Teams will register in advance and will be assigned their cleanup areas in advance

Timing The Day Of:

  • Individuals who require transportation to designated island locations for on-foot cleaning should gather for check-in at 9:00 am at Gananoque Municipal Marina, located at 21 Bay Rd, Gananoque, ON K7G 2C8

  • Those arriving by boat and belonging to pre-assigned teams should convene at the specified locations (previously assigned) by 9:00 am to commence the cleanup activities

  • Teams will be given a cleanup kit with trash bags and trash grabbers and other necessary items to safely remove trash from the shoreline and water

  • Teams of 3-5 will work together along the shore (on foot) and from the water (via kayaks or boats) to clean up areas up to 10 ft “above and below” the shoreline

  • There will be a designated area for teams to dispose of their collected trash

  • Disposal of all/final trash by teams at 12:00 pm


Who Can Participate?

  • Families and businesses are encouraged to register as teams, this is a family-friendly event but anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
  • Individuals are also encouraged to register and will be assigned to a team and a specific zone
  • Calling all kayakers! We are hoping that our network of volunteers will help provide coverage from the water with your own personal kayak

Still Have Questions?


Prior Cleanup from 2022

On Saturday June 11, 2022, TIA hosted its first Trash Free River Clean Up of the season! We had 30 volunteers come out to help clean up the St. Lawrence River and surrounding areas at Halstead’s Bay, Landon’s Bay and Gray’s Bay. At these 3 sites, we collected over 8 full bags of garbage, as well as large items such as a dock ramp, as well as a Christmas tree with lights!

This was an extremely eye opening event, reminding us how much garbage and plastic gets left behind, especially when it begins to break down in the environment. This is called plastic fragmentation. This can occur due to the exposure of sunlight, friction, oxidation, or wildlife interacting with the plastic. The breakdown process of plastics and garbage goes on for forever, continuingly breaking down until it is no longer visible to the naked eye, and becomes a part of our soil, air and water.

The problem at hand is that a small amount of the plastics that we discard every day end up properly disposed of, and mostly end up in landfills, or in our environment where they can take hundreds to thousands of years to decompose. It has been estimated that one third of all plastic waste ends up within soils, freshwater, where they will continue to break down and gain new physical and chemical properties, potentially producing toxic effects (UNEP, 2021).

Knowing what we do about plastics and garbage in our environment, it becomes increasingly important to do our part to keep our environment clean. We would not be able to run events and programs like these without the support of the community and our members, so to all those involved – thank you!

If you missed the first clean up – do not worry! We will be having a bi-national clean up with Save the River on July 30, which is the August long weekend! Consider volunteering your time on one of these two days to help us keep the River clean! Save the river will also be hosting a party after the second clean up on the American side of the border. You do not want to miss this!

Learn more about plastics in our environment here:

Plastic Soup Foundation

UNEP – “Plastic planet”

More photos from June 11th, 2022:



Why Your Membership Matters

TIA is the only organization placing shoal markers for the River Community - this is an essential service. Our mission of river safety is to heighten boater’s awareness of some dangerous shoals to avoid . TIA strongly encourages all boaters to use navigation charts when navigating the St. Lawrence River. Please be a TIA supporter, we rely on membership dues & donations to be sustainable.

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