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South Yuba River Citizens League Kicks Off 20th Annual Cleanup

Want to do some volunterism this year?  For the 20th year, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) will hold its annual Yuba River Cleanup from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, September 16th. The Yuba River Cleanup is one of the largest of its kind in the Sierra region, and it relies on the power of 800 volunteers to work at dozens of sites across the region, from Donner Summit to the Lower Yuba. They’ll tackle everything from hauling out tires to picking up “micro-garbage,” like cigarette butts. Volunteer registration is now available on SYRCL’s website: www.YubaRiver.org.

Kids find treasures among the trash at a previous Cleanup event.

Kids find treasures among the trash at a previous Cleanup event.

“This year the Cleanup is particularly significant. For 20 years, SYRCL has been uniting the community to clean the Yuba. It’s incredible to see how the community has grown. Keeping the river clean, safe and healthy requires all us who love the Yuba to be active stewards. The Yuba has received a lot of love this summer and it’s time to give back. I’m inviting the community to join this high impact event. Dedicating a few hours of work on Sept 16 will make a significant difference for the health of the Yuba and Bear rivers.” said Caleb Dardick, Executive Director of SYRCL.

According to Jenn Tamo, SYRCL’s Community Engagement Manager, “We couldn’t do this incredible work without our local and regional partners. To date, this effort is supported by State Parks, the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, Grass Valley Public Works, Caltrans, Nevada County, as well as many local businesses, clubs, and school groups. And we’ll be welcoming more over the next six weeks. We’re committed to working at dozens of sites, we just need the volunteer power to do it.”

Last summer, 851 volunteers participated in the Cleanup, including 165 people who traveled to Nevada County for this event, and removed nearly 1,500 pounds of recyclables and 9,000 pounds of trash from approximately 80 miles of river, creek and lake shoreline at sites within the Bear and Yuba River watersheds.

On September 16th, volunteers will embark on a watershed-wide hunt to rid the river of everything from micro-garbage like cigarette butts, bottle caps, shards of glass, and dog waste, to large and outlandish items such as washers and trailers. After the Cleanup, volunteers are invited to the Volunteer Appreciation Party in Pioneer Park, Nevada City, from 1-5 p.m., to enjoy music by Scott Nice and Ayla Nereo, great company, and a no-host beer garden. Volunteers registered by Sept. 11 will receive a delicious complimentary lunch.

Keeping the river from being trashed is more than a one-day-a-year activity. Since 2012, a group of dedicated volunteer River Ambassadors have spent every summer weekend educating folks at

Join a team or sign up on your own to take part in this important event.

Join a team or sign up on your own to take part in this important event.

the four major river crossings about how to keep the river clean and safe. This dedicated team promotes an ethic of responsible, non-polluting use of the river by speaking one-on-one with visitors at crossings, beaches and on trails. Using a friendly, non-confrontational approach, River Ambassadors bring awareness to the polluting impacts of trash and dog waste, the dangers of broken glass, and the catastrophic potential of wildfire.

“The River Ambassador program and Yuba River Cleanup produce tangible benefits to our community, but these efforts have real, concrete costs. Volunteers, and even those who can’t make it to the Cleanup, can help support a clean river year-round by asking friends and family to sponsor their day of service through the Clean-a-thon. No donation is too small, gifts of $10 or $20 add up quickly.” said Tamo.

If you have questions about volunteer registration or donating to the Clean-a-thon, contact Jenn Tamo, Community Engagement Manager, at (530) 265-5961 x201 or jenn@syrcl.org. Thank you for supporting the dozens of local business sponsors who help make the Cleanup possible.

Story and photos submitted by Jenn Tamo