Sept. 15 is now the official Great Sierra River Clean-up Day in El Dorado County. The county Board of Supervisors made it official with a proclamation Tuesday.
Coinciding with the California Coastal Clean-up, the annual event serves to “educate the public about the importance of clean water and keeping our streams and rivers free of trash and debris,” notes the document in the board’s agenda materials.
In addition to the South Fork of the American River, other local waterways are targeted for attention including Hangtown Creek and several locations along the Cosumnes River.
The American River Conservancy is the primary contact for individuals, families or groups interested in volunteering to get wet in a good cause on Saturday the 15th.
Information at the California Coastal Commission’s Website describes the clean-up day as part of a worldwide effort called the International Coastal Cleanup organized by the Ocean Conservancy and is “the state’s largest volunteer event. In 2010 over 82,500 volunteers removed more than 1.2 million pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches, lakes and waterways.”
The commission also provides information about how to participate, particularly by not replacing someone else’s garbage with your own. That is, use a refillable water bottle and trashless lunch or snack items and carpool or use public transportation to get to a cleanup site. Also work with a reusable bucket or sack and gloves to haul refuse from the waterway to dumpsters or collection bins.
The Website notes that it required 67 barrels of oil to produce the plastic gloves and bags distributed in the 2010 cleanup effort.
In its first three years, the Great Sierra River Clean-up has pulled more than 526 tons of refuse and recylclables from 1,052 miles of river and stream habitats in 22 counties. Over 11,000 people have worked on the project during those cleanup days.
The Conservancy notes that the stuff making up all of those tons includes appliances, tires, furniture, cigarette butts, beverage bottles and cans, baby diapers and more.
Sierra rivers and streams provide about 65 percent of all California’s fresh water, and the Great River Cleanup “serves to promote good stewardship on all of our waterways, from the source to the sea,” according to ARC’s Website.
For information and volunteer sign-up, contact Manny at firstname.lastname@example.org.