Yuba River Cleanup

23rd Annual Yuba River Cleanup

This summer the South Yuba River has seen an unprecedented number of visitors. Due to shutdowns, crowds have flooded to the Yuba River watershed to get some relief from the stress and heat of 2020. Beaches and trails are littered with shopping bags, straws, cigarette butts, bottles, glass, picnic trash and more. Help “Protect Your Happy Place” by volunteering for SYRCL’s 23rd Annual Yuba River Cleanup September 16-27, 2020.

Over the past 20 years, the Yuba River Cleanup has removed more than 120 tons of garbage and recycling. Just last year, 900 volunteers helped remove 15 tons of trash and recycling from the Yuba and Watershed in four hours. SYRCL is passionate about protecting the beautiful Yuba River and our river community. That is why this year a different kind of cleanup will occur.

Keeping volunteers and the community safe from the spread of COVID-19 is the number one concern. Therefore, rather than one day of fun, this year’s 23rd annual Yuba River Cleanup will be spread across 12-days from September 16-27th. This Cleanup model will be adhering to social distancing guidelines, protecting ourselves while we protect the Yuba River.

Yuba River Cleanup
Volunteer Geri Stout picks up trash at a previous River Cleanup.


“Our river community is looking for a way to give back to the Yuba and remove trash from beaches and trails, even with the risk of COVID on the rise.” Says Daniel Belshe, SYRCL’s Community Engagement Manager. “Social-distancing doesn’t allow for large gatherings like our normal cleanup, so this year volunteers will be heading out on their own during specified times and locations to remove trash. We are not organizing volunteer groups but encouraging folks to volunteer with your family, household or ‘quaren-team.’ Volunteers signup for a location and shift, then head out during their specified time over the course of 12 days.”

Register to volunteer for the 23rd annual Yuba River Cleanup at yubarivercleanup.org, choose your cleanup site and choose a time to pick up trash between September 16-27th. Volunteers can select from 16 sites over 12-days to minimize contact with visitors and fellow volunteers. Only 5-10 volunteers are allowed per cleanup site each shift to help ensure COVID safety. Pick up what trash and recycling you can, then report back to SYRCL what is left for the next volunteer shift. Cleanup supply pickup and trash drop-off will be available at the SYRCL office throughout the week.

To avoid large gatherings, the Volunteer Appreciation Party at Pioneer Park will be cancelled this year, however we will still be awarding winners for the Best of Trash or Treasure Contest. During the Cleanup keep on the lookout for unique trash that might give you a win! This year’s trash or treasure categories will be: Most Useful Find, Most Historical Find, Most Unusual Find and Most Fashionable Find.

Content and photos provided by Daniel Belshe, SYRCL Community Engagement Manager