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Operation Clean Stream

Since 1967, The Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region has organized Operation Clean Stream, one of the country’s most significant and longest-running river restoration projects. Every August, volunteers take to the Meramec River and its tributaries, working to undo the damage caused throughout the year by flooding, careless littering, and the unlawful dumping of debris. Volunteers participate both in canoes and boats, on the shore, in nearby parks, and along nearby trails.

Operation Clean Stream took place August 21 – 29, 2021. The format of this year’s clean-up was a hybrid of both self-guided independent and group-led clean-ups.

Operation Clean Stream took place on August 28th, 2021, at various locations throughout the Meramec Watershed. Over 2,000 volunteers participated as we celebrated 54 years of improving local rivers and open spaces! This year there were both group and self-guided clean-up options. Volunteers signed up to participate anytime between August 21st and 29th or participate in group clean-ups on August 28th. In addition, Our Passport 2 Clean Water Event with safety in mind took place in a socially distanced format as well. Read more about this year’s Passport 2 Clean Water Event on our Blog.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen how important open spaces and clean water are to our communities’ health and well-being. So we thank you for helping to keep them beautiful and clean! Click here for this year’s Operation Clean Stream Program Report.

Special thanks to our partners, Great Rivers Greenway, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Conservation Federation of Missouri, Missouri Stream Teams, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri State Parks, Saint Louis County Parks, and many more for supporting this year’s event! 

Volunteer For Operation Clean Stream 2022!

Thanks to all who volunteered for Operation Clean Stream 2021 in August! Details to come for next year’s Operation Clean Stream. Save the date! Registration and Volunteer Sign Ups Will Open in April of 2022.

Additional thanks to Bayer, Great Rivers Greenway, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Missouri American Water, the Meramec River Recreation Association, On the Run, Missouri Stream Teams, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri State Parks, Saint Louis County Parks, and so many more for supporting Operation Clean Stream 2021!

“When an area is kept free of trash & other debris, visitors are more respectful & reluctant to add trash to the area.” 30-year veteran volunteer, Jerry Castillon

This year we are celebrating 55 years of Operation Clean Stream (OCS) so check back for details about OCS 2022!

*~* Click Here to listen to the KDHX interview with Jean Ponzi celebrating 50 years of Operation Clean Stream