AUBURN — About 3,100 volunteers collected approximately 61,500 pounds of bottles, cans, appliances, car parts and other debris during the fifth annual Great Sierra River Cleanup Sept. 21. The event is sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy in partnership with almost 60 community organizations at nearly 110 sites throughout the Sierra Nevada. A full listing can be found on the SNC Website at SierraNevada.ca.gov.
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“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,” said SNC Executive Officer Jim Branham. “In five years the Great Sierra River Cleanup has removed 580 tons of trash and debris from our watersheds.”
The event combines with the annual Coastal Cleanup Day each year to become the largest single-day volunteer event in California. This event is made possible by the hard work of hundreds of local nonprofit organizations and government agencies throughout the state and thousands of volunteers annually.
Volunteers scoured beaches and riverbanks to collect litter and larger items left behind by residents of and visitors to the Sierra. Some of the more interesting items removed during this year’s cleanup 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.
Thirteen members of the state Legislature signed on as co-chairs of the event this year:
• Jean Fuller (R – Bakersfield)
• Ted Gaines (R – Rocklin)
• Fran Pavley (D – Agoura Hills)
• Lois Wolk (D – Davis)
• Luis Alejo (D-Salinas)
• Connie Conway (R – Tulare)
• Beth Gaines (R – Roseville)
• Richard Gordon (D – Menlo Park)
• Adam Gray (D – Merced)
• Jim Patterson (R – Fresno)
• Henry Perea (D – Fresno)
• Ken Cooley (D – Rancho Cordova)
• Kristin Olsen (R – Modesto)
Sponsors included Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the California Coastal Commission, Camp-California, California Ski Industry Association, SMUD, YubaNet.com, Caltrans, Sierra Heritage Magazine, Sierra Pacific Industries and The Nature Conservancy.