What is a River Ambassador?
Is the South Yuba River one of your favorite summer getaways? Have you noticed garbage on your favorite beaches? SYRCL developed the River Ambassador program to creatively solve the problems of trash, glass, dog waste, and the catastrophic potential for wildfire in the South Yuba River canyon. River Ambassadors utilize one-on-one conversations with visitors to encourage them to participate in keeping the river healthy, clean and safe. Volunteer to become a River Ambassador to protect the Yuba and unite the community!
An Expanding Program
This summer, SYRCL is expanding our successful River Ambassador program to all four major Yuba River crossings.
- Hwy 49
- Edwards Crossing
- Purdon Crossing
In 2012, fifteen River Ambassadors and three River Captains spent 642 hours on the South Yuba River and educated 2,738 State Park visitors while removing 1,860 pieces of trash and dog waste. In 2013, SYRCL is poised to double the River Ambassador’s effective stewardship education and advocacy. SYRCL is piloting the Youth River Ambassador program to provide high school students with experiential outdoor education on the River. The River Ambassador program will host several exciting and educational events on the River to provide folks with opportunities to appreciate and restore the Yuba.
Over half of the river corridor is public land, managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). State Parks has experienced severe budget cuts in recent years resulting in services being drastically reduced. With over 450,000 people visiting the South Yuba River State Park every summer and with the thousands of pounds of trash removed during SYRCL’s annual Greater Yuba River Cleanup, this program was developed in order to prevent the South Yuba River from being “loved to death.”
River Ambassadors are people taking action to motivate and educate the community to care for the South Yuba River! This program is a new and innovative model for stewardship education and watershed protection.
Partners and Supporters
To all the wonderful community members and volunteers, thank you for making this program a success! SYRCL deeply appreciates the California State Parks Foundation’s generous and continued support of SYRCL’s River Ambassador program. SYRCL is grateful to California State Parks for their help in creating and facilitating this program, and the South Yuba River Park Association for their support.
2012 River Ambassador Program Summary
In 2012, to move towards the goal of sustained river stewardship, SYRCL trained fifteen volunteer River Ambassadors and hired three River Captains to promote an ethic of responsible, non-polluting use of the Yuba. By talking face-to-face to visitors at river crossings, at beaches and on trails, the River Ambassadors inspired visitors to take personal actions to protect and preserve the Yuba River by “packing out” their trash and dog waste, not bringing glass to the river, and preventing wild fires.
SYRCL staff recruited, trained, and supervised the volunteer River Ambassadors at Purdon and 49 crossings, two of the most heavily used stretches on the Yuba, every weekend from July 4th to September 15, 2012.