The B.A.S.S. Conservation Clean-Up Challenge is an initiative to encourage anglers and boaters to tackle the problem of trash in our waterways. We want you to join forces with us and other organizations that have a passion for the waters that we all fish, boat or live on.
“Leave it better than you found it” is a phrase you hear when we talk about what anglers can do to help conserve our nation’s aquatic resources, and the sport of fishing that depends on clean water and healthy lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Shoreline cleanups are a great way to get anglers involved, and they also show local communities that bass anglers care about more than just the latest tournament. We want to partner with local groups and build positive relationships.
- To get started, all you need is a desire to make a difference. Take the initiative to pick up trash every time you are on or near the water — by yourself, with a fishing buddy or in a group.
- For a group cleanup, your first step is to contact local organizations that might provide volunteers. Bass clubs, high school and college fishing teams, local “Friends” groups, lake associations, homeowner’s associations, Boys & Girls Clubs, Scout troops, churches and civic groups like Kiwanis and Rotary. Build a list of volunteer sources and key contacts.
- Contact AFTCO for free Bank Bag trash bags that you can pass out to your volunteers. Request at least two bags per volunteer if you know how many people will be helping. Be sure to carry a few Bank Bags with you in your boat or vehicle to do a cleanup on your own if an opportunity arises.
- For a group cleanup, coordinate a date that works for your volunteers.
- Arrange with the lake authority or local Parks & Recreation officials to make sure you have permission to conduct your cleanup. They might pitch in with volunteers and equipment.
- Arrange for trash cans, polycarts or a dumpster to deposit the trash you collect.
- Encourage volunteers to bring gloves, trash grabber tools and wear appropriate clothing and shoes.
- Before every event, have a safety briefing and make sure everyone knows to leave broken glass, sharp objects, knives, needles, etc., where they find them — but alert authorities so they can be safely disposed of.
- The lake authorities may require a liability waiver that everyone will need to sign. If they don’t have one and you feel it is necessary, contact B.A.S.S. Conservation for an example document.
Tell us about your B.A.S.S. Conservation Clean-Up Challenge success. Post on your social media and use the hashtag #BASSCleanup. Then challenge other organizations, rival bass clubs or teams to do better! We want to tell others about your success and make it fun. We want to send a message that our lakes, rivers and reservoirs can be cleaner, better, forever, together.