Preparing to Paddle: How You Can Be River Responsible This Year

As you are pulling out the paddling gear this spring and thinking about getting out on your favorite local river, don’t forget to be River Responsible! The Conservation Foundation is partnering with local watershed groups, park districts, forest preserve districts, private landowners and residents to work together to help everyone connect with our local waterways and have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Healthy rivers and streams are an important part of the quality of life of our communities and we all have a role to play in preserving and protecting them. So, how can you Be River Responsible?

First, help keep it clean. Picking up trash anywhere near a river or storm drain will help keep trash out of the river. Check with your community to see if they organize any river clean-ups. In DuPage County, you can join the annual River Sweep on May 21, 2022 from 9 am to noon. To view more details and register, visit

If you paddle, float or fish in the river, make sure you follow some simple rules:

  • Only access the river through public launches,
  • Respect private landowners along the way by keeping noise levels down and not getting out of your watercraft,
  • Know the weather and flow conditions before you go,
  • Respect and marvel at the wildlife you are sure to see,
  • And of course, take all of your trash back home with you.

We want everyone to enjoy the rivers in their communities this summer, but that can only happen when we are all River Responsible!

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