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August 31, 2013
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Let's get the Yuba squeaky clean

The South Yuba River Citizens League’s annual River Cleanup has removed 140,000 pounds of garbage since 1998. What the beautiful photos and colorful paintings of our beloved Yuba River fail to show is the thousands of pounds of garbage left behind by careless visitors.

So for the 16th consecutive year, on Sept. 21, the South Yuba River Citizens League seeks once again to unite the community for the annual Yuba River Cleanup & Restoration Day. We hope you will register today at for a family-friendly, fun morning spent cleaning up and restoring the river, followed by an afternoon barbecue, live music and the third annual stone skipping contest!

Ever wonder why SYRCL organizes the Yuba River Cleanup every year? It’s because we know how much everyone loves the Yuba River! In fact, nearly 500,000 people visit the Yuba’s swimming pools, beaches and trails annually. Sadly, many ignore the saying, “If you pack it in, please pack it out” — leaving behind tons of trash every year.

The good news is that SYRCL’s annual Yuba River Cleanup Day and our new River Ambassador Program are designed to keep the river clean, healthy and safe. Over the past 15 years, SYRCL volunteers have removed more than 140,000 pounds of garbage. Last year alone, more than 650 volunteers removed 7,700 pounds of trash and recycling from 35 sites along 90 miles of river and streams in just one day!

Families love the Cleanup — and last year, nearly one-third of the participants were under 18. For example, students from the Bear River Key Club removed a hot tub that had been thrown into the Bear River. It is also an excellent team-building opportunity for youth groups and clubs, faith-based organizations, and businesses to build camaraderie while cleaning up trash and trails in our cherished watershed.

But keeping the river from being trashed is more than a one-day-a-year activity. That’s why SYRCL’s river ambassadors are out every weekend this summer — at all four major river crossings — educating visitors about how to keep the river clean and safe. This summer, the volunteer river ambassadors are on track to speak face to face with more than 5,000 river visitors and pick up more than 4,000 pieces of dog waste and litter.

But SYRCL’s programs have real costs — and we need the community’s help to keep them going. This year, we have created a new “Clean-a-thon” so that Yuba River lovers can ask your friends and family to sponsor their day cleaning up the river. All funds raised will support the annual Cleanup, the river ambassadors and SYRCL’s work to protect and restore the Yuba River year-round.

When you sign up for the “Clean-a-thon,” you will have the opportunity to earn great prizes depending on the amount you raise, including a Yuba salmon rafting trip, a Patagonia day pack, a Kleen Kanteen water bottle, a SYRCL T-shirt or SYRCL hat.

The top “Clean-a-thon” fundraisers will win one of our grand prizes, including a Rogue River rafting trip (for two with Bob Travers), Sugar Bowl Ski Pass (slightly restricted), REI Half Dome tent and many other amazing prizes.

This year’s Cleanup is sponsored in part by generous donations from A-One Bookkeeping, BriarPatch Co-op, cbec eco engineering, Grass Valley Sign Company, KVMR, Nevada City Self Storage, Nevada Irrigation District, PG&E, Sperry Van Ness-Highland Commercial, Sugar Bowl, Telestream, The Union and YubaNet. Please be sure to thank these local businesses for their investment in keeping the Yuba clean.

If you have any questions or want to sponsor the Cleanup, please contact Miriam Limov, River People manager, at 530-265-5961, ext. 201, or

Caleb Dardick is the executive director of the South Yuba River Citizens League.

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The Union Updated Aug 31, 2013 09:43AM Published Sep 7, 2013 10:37AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.