About Adopt-A-Waterway

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What is the History of AAW?  

Adopt-A-Waterway (AAW) has been a part of Richland and Lexington Counties since 2008. The program is managed by Keep the Midlands Beautiful and is sponsored by Dominion Energy. 

What is AAW?  

Litter, a common source of pollution, threatens the health and beauty of far too many of our treasured lakes, streams and rivers.  The AAW program offers volunteer groups the opportunity to address water-based litter issues in both Richland and Lexington Counties.  Please join us in protecting and cleaning up our creeks, rivers, lakes, boat landings and islands.

AAW Brochure

Click here for a brochure that explains the AAW program.


How Does the AAW Program Work?

1. Volunteer groups select an island, boat landing or a section of river or creek and conduct litter pickups at least TWO times a year for TWO years.

  • Groups should conduct one pickup in the spring during "The Great American Cleanup" period (typically mid March to mid June). 
  • Groups are encouraged to conduct the second pickup in mid-September in conjunction with the statewide "Beach Sweep River Sweep" sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources.
  • Groups may conduct additional pickups on their preferred dates.


2. KMB provides supplies including trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers and safety vests (as required).  Mesh bags are also available upon request for volunteer groups to borrow.  Unused supplies must be returned immediately after each cleanup. 


3. All volunteer groups are recognized on KMB’s website.  Where possible, permanent signs acknowledging volunteer groups will be provided for groups to put up at or near their adopted section of waterway.  KMB has installed sign posts on most Lake Murray Islands and boat ramps that the signs can be added to.


Who Can Participate? 

Anyone who has an interest in cleaning up and protecting Midlands-area waterways is encouraged to take part in AAW program.  Children under the age of 18 must have adult supervision and a guardian's signature.

Volunteer groups may include:

  • Student clubs, classes or organizations
  • Local businesses and corporations
  • Fishing, boating or paddling clubs and other outdoor organizations
  • Scout troops
  • Civic organizations
  • Churches and faith-based organizations
  • Sports teams
  • Any group that wants to improve the environment

AAW Banner

How Do I Get Involved? 

1. Gather an interested and enthusiastic group who is willing to adopt a waterway and be responsible for picking up litter in and around it at least TWO TIMES a year for TWO YEARS.


2. Select an island, boat landing, or a section of river or creek in either Lexington or Richland County from the lists in the links below to adopt.

  • Waterways on the lists that are currently adopted have a group name listed.  These are NOT available.
    • Lake Murray Waterway Map and List
    • Rivers, Creeks, and Ponds Map and List
  • Call KMB at (803) 733-1139, or e-mail aaw@kmbsc.org to submit a request for a waterway selected from the list or to propose a section of waterway not on the list.


3. Complete the AAW Agreement Form below after you have selected your waterway and have confirmed with KMB that it is available.  To receive a copy of the form by mail, contact KMB.


4. Have Each Member of Your Group Complete a Waiver Form.  


5. Return the completed Agreement Form and all Waiver Forms to KMB in person, by mail or by email.

  • Bring or Mail to:

Keep the Midlands Beautiful

1305 Augusta Road

West Columbia, SC 29169


6. The designated group leader must complete the  Online Safety and Orientation Training before your group can participate in your first pick up.  Click on the link below to complete the course.  It should take approximately 15 minutes.  It may be paused and resumed but if closed, you must start over.  Use this Safety Tip Sheet with your group members.


AAW Safety & Orientation Online Training Class


7. A group member, or other designated person, must order and pick up supplies from the Keep the Midlands Beautiful (KMB) office in West Columbia.

  • Supplies are provided at no charge.
  • Supply kits include grabbers, gloves, safety vests if needed, and trash bags, as well as mesh bags, recycling bags and extra long litter grabber upon request.
  • Request supplies using this AAW Supply Request Form or by calling (803) 733-1139.


8. Complete your pick up.  Stay safe and hydrated.  If any of your group members did not sign the Agreement Form or Waiver Form, have them sign in on this Waiver Form before picking up any litter.


9. Return all supplies to the KMB office within one week of each litter pickup.  They are washed and reused.


10. Submit a short report online after each pick-up to document the number of volunteers, hours spent and number of bags of litter collected.  See the Report Card here.


11. E-mail photos of your team and of the area before and after picking up litter to AAW@kmbsc.org.  Photos sent to KMB may be used on KMB's website and/or social media pages.


Questions?  E-mail aaw@kmbsc.org or call  (803) 733-1139.