NC Big Sweep Waterway Cleanup
The purpose of NC Big Sweep is to rid the state's waters of litter by promoting environmental education and an annual waterway cleanup. The official cleanup is held every year on the first Saturday in October, but cleanups can be organized throughout the year. Volunteers take notes on kind of debris collected every year. After data is collected, it is analyzed to pinpoint sources of debris to help enforce laws and focus educational efforts. Big Sweep cleanups began in NC in 1987 and in Cabarrus County in 1992. Cleanup supplies and educational materials are available from the conservation district, which coordinates Big Sweep locally. The conservation district also assists with adoption of streams through the state Streamwatch program. Educational booklets available to schools are "Splish Splash" (2nd), "Ripples" (3rd - 5th), and "Undercurrents" (Middle).
Kendall Quick, a student at Mt. Pleasant High School, was the 2012 NC Big Sweep Artist of the Year. Kendall created the 2012 t-shirt and poster design during the state Big Sweep contest. The contest was open to all NC students in grades kindergarten through 12. Almost 500 entries were judged on the message, originality, educational value and attractiveness. This is the second year in a row that a student from Mt. Pleasant won this contest. Katie Harris won in 2011.
The Soil and Water Conservation District office assists volunteers by providing data collection cards, bags and pick up sticks.