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Coming full SYRCL: South Yuba River Citizens League to host annual cleanup

Those who spend any amount of time at the Yuba River have likely noticed the influx in the number of fellow river-goers, and with that the increase in the amount of garbage and debris along the waterways.

With that in mind, the South Yuba River Citizens League is hosting its 25th annual Yuba River Cleanup, which will take place Saturday to Sept. 17 among various waterways throughout the county.

“The south fork of the Yuba River Cleanup is our focus, but over the years we’ve expanded our reach to the lower Yuba, north Yuba, Deer Creek, Wolf Creek, Oregon Creek and other places,” said SYRCL’s Community Engagement Manager Maddie Davis.

Davis added that the group has also expanded into cleanup of waterway adjacent neighborhoods, as any impact on the environment can ultimately lead to waterways and subsequently to the ocean.

In recent years, the Yuba has had on average 800,000 visitors annually. Davis said latest estimates for the current year are looking closer to 1 million.

“Visitorship comes with its challenges, like the trash and recycling. We’re still ramping up after the pandemic,” Davis continued. “We have tried to pivot in a smart way and be conscious to make our (annual) cleanup more flexible.”

This means that the cleanup will offer more hours in which volunteers can participate.

Self-guided cleanup participants will be asked to pick up supplies — think trash bags, gloves, and a data card — at the SYRCL office in Nevada City. The data cards detail how much litter was collected, and upon completion of the cleanup, helpers will return the cards back to the office.

“We collected 12,000 pounds of trash last year and this year we are anticipating even more,” Davis said. “Not everyone has learned what comes with responsible river safety and river care. The cleanup is such a great way to get to know other community members and make an impact on our rivers.”

Davis added that since its inception, the Yuba River Cleanup has collected over 180 tons of garbage and recycling from the river.

Volunteers for the cleanup are needed, and will be rewarded with a gathering on Sept. 17 at Bridgeport, South Yuba River State Park, by the visitor center. The festivities will offer food, live music, and a beer garden.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone come out,” said Daniel Elkin, SYRCL’s communications and engagement director. “It’s events like the annual cleanup that will get us all together in celebration of everything we share.”

For those interested in joining SYRCL’s cleanup efforts, visit http://www.yubariver.org or contact Maddie Davis at 530-265-5961. The South Yuba River Citizens League is at 313 Railroad Ave., Suite 101, in Nevada City.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com



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