Clean Up! Contraband Bayou is an all day community grassroots effort to clean up the litter on Contraband Bayou. We are asking individual volunteers, volunteers with boats, organizations, and businesses to come out and help us get the job done.

This is mostly a water-based operation, however we will be able to transport volunteers to some land areas only accessible by boat. Clean up efforts will involve reaching out of the boat to scoop up trash. On land the ground may be muddy and rubber boots will be necessary. This is a dirty job. Please come prepared and wear appropriate clothing and sturdy closed-toed shoes, rubber boots if needed. A change of clothes, shoes, and towels may come in handy.

At registration each person/team/boat will be assigned a section of the bayou to clean. Tools and supplies will be provided. Trash barges and boats will travel along the bayou to collect trash bags so you won't have to go back to Bowtie to dump bags. Support boats will also be in each section to provide water, snacks, supplies, and first aid.

Pre-registration is required and a liability waiver form must be completed by all participants. For large groups we recommend you do this in advance.

Check in the day of the event at 8:00am at Bowtie Marina, 1245 Giovanni Street. Pre-launch available on Friday or launch from another location.

Check-in is required for this event. You must sign a waiver of liability form to participate and receive tools, supplies, t-shirt, and lunch. Please click here to read the Safety Rules.

Here's how you can help:
    1. Bring your boat along with helpers and be a part of our team.
    2. Organize a group.
    3. Volunteer for Clean-Up event.
    4. Make a donation.


Click here to complete the volunteer registration form. A Clean Bayou member will contact you for additional information and required forms.

Individuals under the age of 18:
If you are under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must sign the registration form before you come to the event. Any person under the age of 18 without proper parental consent will not be able to participate in the event.

Groups of 10 or more people:
Groups of 10 or more people may fill out the liability waiver prior to the event. Please contact us for the form, have each person complete it, and return it to us prior to the event. This will speed up the registration process the day of the event.

Tools and Supplies:

If you have any of the following tools, please bring them. A limited supply will be available at registration.
    • Trash bags
    • Rubber gloves
    • Paper towels
    • Rakes
    • Pokers
    • Dip nets
    • Rubber boots

General Safety Information:

All participants must fill out a registration form and sign a liability waiver prior to participating in the event. Parents and youth leaders shall be responsible for closely monitoring youth volunteers in the group or organization, and making them aware of the rules and following them.

Boat owners will be responsible for their own fuel and life jackets. All boating laws and regulations will be enforced by appropriate law enforcement personnel. Be aware of the no wake zone along the entire length of Contraband Bayou.

Most clean up sites are in areas where wildlife exists. Please be watchful of areas where snakes, alligators, or harmful insects may be or alert those in your party of the presence of any of these creatures. Be watchful of harmful plants such as poison ivy or oak, thorns, vines, etc. Wear gloves to protect your hands from these and other potentially harmful bacteria in the water. Refrain from contact with any wildlife or federal domestic animals.

Report dead animals to a Safety Team Leader.

Always wear protective rubber gloves. If you encounter any questionable hazardous items, do not touch them! Alert a safety coordinator of your finding and let them take the appropriate action. Do not open any container and drain the contents as they may contain harmful bacteria.

Safety and Health:

Boating Safety
    • Always wear a life jacket. This type of clean up involves leaning out of the boat to collect trash. You never know when you may end up in the water.
    • There are many trees, stumps and other debris that are visible and many more that are not. Please use caution when running your boat over these areas. Damage to boats may occur.
    • Boaters need to use caution while running on the narrow rivers and pay attention to oncoming watercrafts; the other boater may not see you!
    • Be courteous to other boaters, observe all wake zone markers, have all safety devices aboard.

Life Jackets
Any vessel less than 16 feet in length must have a Coast Guard approved type I - II or III for each person.

Any vessel 16 feet in length and longer, must have a Coast Guard approved type I - II or III for each person on board plus one type IV throwable device.

All personal flotation devices (PDF) shall be serviceable, readily accessible, if not worn on the person, and properly sized.

PFD's and CHILDREN - Children 16 or younger must wear a properly sized and fitted PFD when the boat is underway on all vessels less than 26 feet in length. Smaller children should have a PFD that has ample upper body flotation and a crotch strap, proper fitting is critical.

Clean Up Safety
    • Always wear rubber or protective gloves. Do not use your bare hands to pick up trash.
    • Do not enter, wade, or swim in any body of water to retrieve debris unless approved by a Safety Team Leader.
    • Only collect trash where you are capable. Ensure proper footing and utilize the correct tools before proceeding.
    • Do not climb up or down trees, rocks, or steep banks to retrieve debris. Collection along sloping banks should be done when approved by a Safety Team Leader.
    • Do not dig or disturb bare soil or contribute to erosion areas.
    • Do not reach or crawl into crevices, brush, under rocks or structures to retrieve debris. Use a tool when necessary.
    • Be aware of wildlife such as snakes or alligators and do not disturb them.
Hazardous Items (Do not collect the following items:)
    • Heavy items requiring more than one person to lift.
    • Partially buried items
    • Closed or sealed buckets or containers
    • Medical waste (hazard bags, needles, etc.)
    • Dead animals
    • Batteries
    • TV/computer monitors/electronics
    • Tires
Take note of the location of these items and report them to a Safety Team Leader. Appropriate personnel will collect these items.

Safety Team Leaders reserve the right to dismiss any volunteer or person whom they deem to be working or participating inappropriately or putting themselves or others in danger.

Law Enforcement will be present at this event!

Food and Entertainment:

Clean Bayou will provide refreshments and entertainment throughout the day.

Lunch will be provided at The Landing starting at 11am and ending at 2pm. A ticket will be given to you at registration. Please hold on to it and present it to get your meal.

Richard Cole will be cooking Jambalaya for all volunteers at Bowtie Marina starting at 3pm. We will also have live entertainment at Bowtie.

Water, snacks, and first aid will be available at Bowtie Marina and on support boats on the bayou.