We Are

Advocates for Clean & Clear Waterways is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C., serving the communities of the District, Virginia, and Maryland. Founded in April of 2020, our organization is staffed by dedicated advocates serving our community. We focus on staff and volunteer litter clean-ups, water quality issues and testing, environmental education, pollution response, and other environmental concerns affecting low-income communities. We respond to incidents affecting the Potomac River, several dozen tributaries, and the greater Chesapeake Bay Watershed. We are proud to be the only organization in the region with staff responding to and cleaning litter hotspots daily, accepting reports from across the nation, and advocating for our community.


We work by mobilizing staff members and volunteers to beautify, clean, and protect our waterways, parks, beaches, neighborhoods, public lands, and other natural areas. While our primary response is by our team, we also host numerous volunteer clean-ups. We place an emphasis on the small pieces of garbage that typically go unaddressed, such as microbeads and microplastics, as well as hard-to-access areas.


In addition to our immediate radius of response, we accept litter and pollution reports nationwide. When incidents are within the District, Virginia, and Maryland areas, we respond and take the necessary steps to achieve a resolution. With reports that originate outside of these areas, we assist the community in escalating the incidents to local agencies and organizations for a resolution.





Caleb Merendino

Executive Director


​Caleb has dedicated his time to environmental advocacy and policy, volunteerism, public safety, and animal welfare. As a fierce advocate, he has fought for marine wildlife, clean waterways, and healthy communities. He has shown strong leadership through organizing volunteer clean-ups and working closely with large companies and officials on environmental initiatives. When off the clock (which is rare these days), Caleb can be found exploring the outdoors, kayaking, at the beach, camping, hiking, and losing at game night.

Benjamin Swanson

Associate Director


Ben has always been passionate about the environment and helping his community. In addition to serving as Associate Director for Advocates for Clean & Clear Waterways, he is an accomplished musician and educator and holds a bachelor's degree from James Madison University. Ben is a persistent advocate for safe and inclusive environments for all, humans and wildlife alike. Outside of work, Ben enjoys adventuring outdoors, playing piano, and winning at game night.




Water Quality


FEIN: 85-0782176

P.O. Box 53097

Washington, D.C. 20009


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