This weekend was the 5th annual Great Sierra River Cleanup. This year 3,100 volunteers picked up trash along Sierra Nevada Rivers, up from last year’s 2,800 volunteers. The event combines with the annual Coastal Cleanup Day and is the largest single-day volunteer event in California.
The event focuses on picking up trash that is left by Labor Day and summertime visitors. Volunteers scoured beaches and riverbanks and some of the more interesting items removed this year include; a blue plastic dinosaur, a pink flowered tiara, an unopened package of ham, and a baby stroller with a demon mask attached to it.
In all, approximately 61,500 pounds of bottles, cans, appliances, car parts and other debris were removed. An estimated 3,951 pounds of the trash was recyclable.
In the Mother Lode area the Tuolumne River was picked up organized by the Tuolumne River Trust. Volunteers met at Legion Park and at Seventh Street and Tuolumne Boulevard.
There were also Stanislaus River Cleanups at Jacob Myers Park, off Santa Fe Road in Riverbank, and at the Oakdale Shopping Center, where Highway 120 crosses the river. That cleanup was sponsored by the East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District and its partners.
The event is sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) in partnership with almost 60 community organizations at nearly 110 sites throughout the Sierra Nevada for a total of 86 River miles cleaned.
SNC Executive Officer, Jim Branham says “Some 23 million Californians get their water from the Sierra, so it is gratifying that so many volunteers take part in cleaning up our rivers, lakes and streams.”