Offenders are to be set a range of tasks aimed at improving canal towpaths across the West Midlands.
People sentenced to community pay back tasks will embark on a number of jobs including painting locks, cutting back vegetation and removing litter.
The work will take place on canals in Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Stafford.
British Waterways said it had run similar schemes before but this was the start of a 12-month agreement.
Previous work between British Waterways and probation trusts had taken place on an ad-hoc basis but this partnership had a more co-ordinated approach, a spokesman said.
If successful, the programme could be rolled out to other areas of the country.