Mermaids host beach cleanup to inspire conservation awareness on the St. Croix

Three mermaids will swim ashore and interact with children, trading treasures for trash, in what is described as “sure to be a FINtastic event.”




2 minute read

Via Mermaid Echo:

Photo courtesy Mermaid Echo

Mermaid Beach Cleanup
August 11 – noon
Lakefront Park Beach
Hudson, Wisconsin

Claire VanValkenburg and Willow Ries are two normal folks, except for a keen passion for conservation and their blue and green-scaled mermaid tails of course. These professional mermaids don the names “Mermaid Echo” and “Seaspray Mermaid” along with beautifully crafted mermaid costumes in the hopes that a lesson from real life mermaids will inspire kids to see the impact that littering can have on aquatic environments.

This August, the two mermaids will swim to downtown Hudson’s Lakefront beach to meet families and trade trash for treasure. With real seashells, gems, beads, and other goodies Echo and Seaspray will gift “magical mermaid treasure” to all who dutifully throw away any trash they may find on the beach. One human’s trash is another human’s magical mermaid treasure, as they say.

“Children are our future, and our planet’s hope,” Ries said. “If we can teach them to respect wildlife, and the surrounding environment, they will leave a cleaner, brighter world than we gave them.”

Both mermaids are passionate about the impact youth environmental education can have on our beloved St. Croix River, and work to educate the “guppies” around them.

“A mermaid is the perfect spokesperson for aquatic conservation,” VanValkenburg said. “If a mermaid told you that you have the power to save Wisconsin’s lakes and rivers, wouldn’t you want to try?”

The mermaids will swim to shore at 12 p.m. on August 11 at the beach across from Hudson’s Public Library with treasure in hand. Parents are advised to bring water, sunscreen and snacks for children who will be in the sun. For more information, or to contact the organizers, those interested can find the Facebook event at

Note: Read St. Croix 360’s interview with Mermaid Echo from August 2017 at this link.


You may republish this article online or in print under our Creative Commons license. You may not edit or shorten the text, you must attribute the article to St. Croix 360 and you must include the author’s name in your republication.

If you have any questions, please email


Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlikeCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
Mermaids host beach cleanup to inspire conservation awareness on the St. Croix