The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) has spearheaded thirteen successful years of river cleanups in partnership with the California Coastal Commission’s Cleanup Day, the state’s largest volunteer event. SYRCL’s Greater Yuba River Clean-Up and Restoration Day has stewarded sites ranging from the high Sierra mountains of Donner Summit to Parks Bar on the Lower Yuba, covering over 80 miles of shoreline. With over half a million visitors each year to the South Yuba River alone, enormous amounts of litter are discarded over the summer months. To address these recreational impacts, SYRCL has coordinated 5,500 volunteers who have removed 126,000 pounds of trash and recycling, rebuilt trails and removed invasive species during the three-hour cleanup day each September for the past 13 years. In 2010, over 650 volunteers showed their support as a community of civic, youth groups and families to show their concern for the watershed that they live in.
On September 17, 2011, SYRCL will participate in our 14th annual cleanup and restoration day as a participant in the 3rd Annual Great Sierra River Cleanup, supported by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy promoting good stewardship of our waterways in the Sierra Nevada. The Yuba River watershed, 1300 square miles of diverse lands, waters, and habitats, flows westward eventually reaching the sea. With 60-80% of the marine debris originating from inland sources, it is critical to remove the debris before it reaches the coast where it affects marine life. Therefore, SYRCL is proud to be the Nevada County organizing group for the annual cleanup of the Yuba and Bear Rivers, Wolf and Deer Creeks raising awareness about issues of watershed conservation, reduction in litter, and encourage reduction of consumption.
This is a wonderful family event with a free lunch and celebration provided at Bridgeport after the morning clean-up and restoration projects. One third of the participants in 2010 were
ages 18 and under demonstrating that the youth of our county care about their environment. SYRCL would like to foster this stewardship and have even greater participation from the youth. Therefore, if you are involved in a youth group, high school group or scout troop, please contact us to get involved this year.
Agin this year is the BYOB campaign: Bring your own, bag and/or bucket, gloves, water bottle and serving ware to the celebration. The cleanup event produces trash by the
distribution of extra bags printed for the event. Therefore, this year please bring bags you have from home or paint buckets to pick up the trash, your own water bottle that can be refilled at the celebration and your own serving ware for the free lunch.
From growing tobacco plants to the disposal of cigarette butts, the whole life cycle of a cigarette takes a heavy toll on the environment. Therefore, SYRCL collaborated with The Nevada County Y.O.U.T.H. (Youth Opposing The Use of Tobacco for Health), Coalition to increase the amount of community awareness related to the environmental impact that tobacco litter has on the Yuba River watershed, its tributaries, aquatic life and pollution as a whole.
Cigarette butts are the most littered item accumulating in our waste stream. Worldwide, 4.3 trillion are littered annually. Their chemicals contribute to non-point source pollution
when carried through storm drains by rainfall and urban runoff to our lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground sources of drinking water. Non point
source pollution has harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries, and wildlife (Source: CigaretteLitter.org).
The EPA estimates that non-point source pollution accounts for 65% of pollution in rivers in the United States. Underwater plants and aquatic animals and submerged aquatic vegetation (considered to be the foundation of a stable aquatic ecosystem) are particularly threatened or damaged by non-point source pollution (Source: EPA National Assessment Database).
The tobacco data collected from the Greater Yuba Clean-Up will be used by the youth coalition to foster their education and events this coming year. The coalition members will becoordinating local tobacco litter events, conducting community educational and media activities and press releases, and receive technical training and support from the California Youth Advocacy Network, The Sierra Club, and increase their perception of themselves as leaders. They will have a booth of information at the Bridgeport celebration to share with you. If you would like to get involved with the Nevada County Y.O.U.T.H. Coalition, please contact Felicia Sobonya at email@example.com
Registration for this year’s clean-up day will be begin on August 20, 2011 so check back on our website at that time. Plans are underway for another fabulous lunch with entertainment down at Bridgeport following the clean-up and restoration morning. For more information and questions: Miriam Limov firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-265-5961 ext. 201