If it is storming on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. (thunder, lightning, heavy downpour,) we will delay Riversweep until 10:00 a.m. If it is still storming, then we will cancel and announce the rain date as soon as a decision is made.
If it is only drizzling, we will hold Riversweep as scheduled. 
An e-mail will be sent on Saturday morning if the event is delayed or cancelled.


Lake Wylie Riversweep still needs your help. Please go to the site of your choice and register Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. on May 21, 2016. There are 14 sites to choose from. If you are a group of ten or more, please contact Connie Miller at for assistance. 

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Riversweep Overview

The Event

2016 is the fourteenth year of Riversweep, the annual volunteer clean-up event on Lake Wylie. Often the event coincides with the regional Big Sweep effort, drawing volunteers from the three-county region surrounding Lake Wylie and beyond. Riversweep 2016 is on Saturday, May 21, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The Lake Wylie Covekeepers are local volunteers of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. Each year this group, in partnership with the Lake Wylie Marine Commission, organizes Riversweep and recruits Boat Captains and volunteers to man the boats and retrieve the trash and debris along the shoreline.

The event is supported by many area businesses, marinas, recreational organizations, local municipal and county governments, charitable foundations, and generous individuals. Donations are made in several forms: financial, material in-kind contributions, publicity through customer communication channels and web sites, and volunteer recruitment efforts.

The Lake Wylie Marine Commission promotes Riversweep at the Charlotte Boat Show in February and on their web site - The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation announces Riversweep on its web site -

In late summer, event flyers are distributed throughout the communities around the lake. News articles and press releases are circulated to announce the event and explain how individuals can volunteer on the Riversweep web site We also make appeals for boat owners to volunteer their boats to help transport workers around the shoreline and haul collected trash back to the sites. Pontoon boats are particularly useful.

There are 14 volunteer site locations around Lake Wylie:

Buster Boyd Bridge Access, Catawba Yacht Club, Charlotte Yacht Club, Copperhead Landing-McDowell Park, Dale’s Landing-Belmont, Ebenezer Park, Gaston County Wildlife Club Landing, Harbortowne Marina, Nivens Creek Access, River Hills Marina/Pier 88, Tega Cay Marina, Seven Oaks Bridge, Allison Creek Access, and Tailrace Marina, Mt. Holly.  Volunteers choose the most convenient site to work when they pre-register online.  Walk-up volunteers register at the site they select the morning of the event.

Site Captains at each location register volunteers, provide them with a Riversweep T-shirt, trash bags and grabbers, work gloves, and bottled water, and direct them to an area of the shoreline to clear. Some go by vehicles to the designated areas, and some by kayaks to the shallow reaches of the coves. Other volunteers staff the sites with dumpsters and help unload trash from boats and vehicles.

Trash is counted and tallied at each site. Then the site totals are combined to report Riversweep’s grand total of trash, junk, and debris pulled from the lake, creeks, and coves. We estimate the trash in terms of full dumpsters as well as the number of vehicle tires, watercraft, household furnishings and other unusual items collected. These results, along with the number of registered volunteers and boat captains, are distributed in press releases and on all participating web sites.

The Benefits

The benefits of Riversweep to communities, municipalities, counties, and the region are significant. A lake with a healthy ecosystem and free of trash, debris, and hazards to navigation contributes to the foundation on which to build and maintain a strong local economy. 

The appeal of Riversweep is demonstrated repeatedly as many return volunteers commit themselves to care for the lake. The effectiveness of the event’s publicity is compounded each year by increased public awareness from previous campaigns. A healthy public waterway, maintained by the volunteerism of local residents speaks to the environmental culture of lakeside communities that are predominately in unincorporated areas.

Fourteen years later, Riversweep has transcended a simple community clean-up project. Every fall, the event draws residents and visitors alike to focus on issues that impact water quality and on the critical need to protect this beautiful natural resource.  Volunteer participation fosters pride of place and a personal commitment of the communities’ residents who enjoy Lake Wylie.