Although Clean Up Australia Day was on officially on March 1, Shoalhaven Riverwatch made their mark on March 3, focusing their efforts on the Shoalhaven River foreshore and in-stream islands.
"This year we took out four boats and focused on the areas that are hard to get to from the land," said Riverwatch president Margie Jirgens.
"Often the only way to collect some rubbish is by boat, especially if it has been washed or dumped over the bank.
"Having numerous teams of volunteers really helped us bring in a load of rubbish that would have ended up washed out to sea."
The biggest item recovered was a portable toilet.
"It had washed down the river in the recent flood and landed at Pig Island," said project manager, Peter Jirgens.
"In addition, large amounts of plastic wrap from silage bales was collected at Nowra Creek and Bomaderry Creek.
"We have observed a marked increase in the amount of plastic silage wrap in the river which is real concern as it easily breaks up into smaller pieces and is hard to collect."
A team of volunteers hauled out 10 shopping trolleys from the Shoalhaven River from the hospital to the sailing club which is a marked improvement from previous years.
"It appears that the coin-operated trolley system local supermarkets have installed is working!" Mr Jirgens said.
The group's next working bees will be on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 17-18 between 10am and 1pm.
Members will meet at Terara Sands and work on constructing a sand sausage and planting lomandras on Pig Island, followed by a barbecue lunch.
Shoalhaven Riverwatch holds regular working bees to improve the natural environment throughout the warmer months.
This may include tree planting, constructing erosion control structures, nursery work or clean up work. If you are interested in volunteering, go to www.riverwatch.org.au and register or email firstname.lastname@example.org