Wake County Big Sweep


To comply with Wake County government’s COVID-19 response, Wake County Big Sweep for Fall 2020 is canceled.  The safety of our Big Sweep Zone Captains and volunteers is always top priority!  Depending on the status of COVID-19, we hope to be back sweepin’ our creeks, lakes, wetlands and parks clean in spring 2021.

Teachers and Scout Leaders!

Looking for a FREE and VIRTUAL citizen science project that combines learning about sea turtles and preventing their demise from marine debris? Check out the Turtle Trash Collectors programming offered this fall by our partner UNCW MarineQuest. Activities are designed for grades 3–5 but can be adapted for other age groups.

Our partner the Ocean Conservancy has a FREE Clean Swell app that anyone can use anywhere, any time! When creating your account, start your Group Name with "Wake- _" and finish with a unique name like "Wake-Troop345," "Wake-SmartElem4th" or "Wake-MainStCary." Avoid using "FallsLake" or "NeuseRiver," as that may confuse your data with that of many other groups.

Wake County Big Sweep Celebrates 30 Years!
Cause for Applause!

BigSweep_Picture1.jpgWhere can I volunteer in Wake County?

Big Sweep welcomes willing & enthusiastic volunteers! Wake County has numerous cleanups in several municipalities thanks to dynamo Zone Captains who lead these events. Select a site on our spring or fall schedule. To volunteer, contact the site's Zone Captain or park office to preregister the volunteers in your party. This is a good time to make sure the site is appropriate for different age groups and different levels of physical ability. Volunteers must complete the Volunteer Liability Waiver and return it to the Zone Captain on the day of the cleanup. Note: Some sites may require volunteers to sign two waivers. Thank you for signing these important forms! 
What is Wake County Big Sweep?
Wake County Big Sweep is a citizen volunteer effort to make our environment litter-free. Wake County focuses on watersheds, coordinating cleanups of streams, lakes and wetlands. Events are planned throughout spring and fall each year in partnership with city & county parks, civic organizations, youth groups, schools, churches and businesses.

Wake County Big Sweep is affiliated with the international Ocean Conservancy that began the International Coastal Cleanup to remove litter from beaches and coastal shorelines around the world. Our volunteers intercept litter before it travels downstream via the Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers, to the NC coast, and out to the Atlantic Ocean. 

When is Big Sweep?
In Wake County, we hold numerous Big Sweep cleanups in Spring (March & April) and Fall (September & October) on multiple dates to broaden participation and lend flexibility to busy schedules. Visit this website often to see our latest schedule! Cleanups are listed by date chronologically, then by town and watershed alphabetically.


Why is Big Sweep important?
Big Sweep plays an important role in watershed protection by keeping Wake County’s waterways litter-free, beautiful, ecologically viable, and safe for drinking or other designated water uses. Big Sweep volunteers are often the first ones who bring illicit discharges and other potential pollutants to their local government’s attention.  Volunteers pull out the garbage that can harm the water you drink, the places you fish, the wildlife you love, and the beautiful waterways you canoe, sail, and swim in!  
Big Sweep Results
How can I become a Zone Captain?
Do you have a littered area in Wake County in mind?  Are you willing to lead volunteers in a safe cleanup?  New Zone Captains are always welcome and needed!  If interested, contact Wake Soil & Water Conservation District’s Sheila Jones at 919-410-2676 or sbjones@wakegov.com for details and assistance.  


Whom can I call?
Wake County Big Sweep is a program of Wake Soil and Water Conservation District.  If you have further questions or need assistance, contact Wake County Big Sweep Coordinator Sheila Jones at 919-410-2676 or sbjones@wakegov.com

Wake County Departments & Agencies: