River Ambassadors Talked to Over 5,000 Yuba Visitors After 10 Weeks

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Patriotic Bridgeport visitors kept the Yuba clean on the 4th of July.

SYRCL’s River Ambassadors have been hard at work keeping visitors at the river informed about best-stewardship practices.  This summer we have recruited 37 volunteer River  Ambassadors and you can find them every weekend at the four popular South Yuba River State Park river crossings: Bridgeport, Purdon, Edwards and the Old 49 Bridge.

A young girl “packs it out” with her mother at Bridgeport, too.



Since Memorial Day, River Ambassadors have been stationed at trailheads and beaches raising awareness around the detrimental impacts of litter in our watershed.  Over the past ten weeks, the River Ambassadors have spoken to over 5,000 visitors about leaving no trace and have personally picked up 3,967 pieces of trash themselves.

Save the Date for Annual River Cleanup

SYRCL’s 17th Annual River Cleanup will be Saturday, September 20th.  Volunteer registration opens the first week of August.  Register early to receive a spot at your preferred Cleanup site!

This Santa Cruz sign inspired BYLTs and SYRCLs art-contest to convey the importance of picking up dog waste.
This Santa Cruz sign inspired BYLTs and SYRCLs art-contest to convey the importance of picking up dog waste.

Kids Art Contest: “the Down & Dirty Details on Dog-Doo”

We are fortunate to have dog-friendly areas at the South Yuba, but with such a high concentration of visitors at these river crossings, the trails and beaches are inundated with a high volume of dog waste.  Dog waste not only smells bad, but over time, is carried into our water ways through storm water runoff and can contaminate our rivers and streams.  To raise awareness around this issue, the Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) and SYRCL have launched a sign-making contest for kids under 18 years of age.  The campaign was inspired by signage used in Santa Cruz, which humorously reads, “There is no poop fairy…please clean up after your dog.”

All summer, kids have a chance to design a poster which conveys the importance of “picking up your dog’s poop.”  The deadline for the contest is August 31, 2014.  The contest winner will be announced at SYRCL’s Annual River Cleanup BBQ, September 20th at Bridgeport State Park.  The winning image will be posted at trailheads throughout the community.  You may download the art contest form here.

Over three seasons, River Ambassadors have removed 2,100 piles of doggy-doo.  Please bring dog bags with you to the river—help keep potentially harmful bacteria out of our low-flowing Yuba this year, bag up and pack out all dog waste.

A couple and their cute pup near the Visitor Center at Bridgeport.
A couple and their cute pup near the Visitor Center at Bridgeport.
A woman packs out dog waste at Edwards. Thank you!

Pocket Ash Trays Keep Cigarette Filters off the River

Altoid tin
Mint tins like these can be repurposed as excellent pocket ash-trays. Thanks to SYRCL supporter, Cara, we now have more tins to keep cigarette butts off the river.

According to Keep America Beautiful[1], cigarettes remain the most littered item in the U.S. and across the globe.  Since 2012, River Ambassadors have removed nearly 3,500 cigarette butts from the South Yuba River State Park.  Cigarette filters are made from cellulose acetate, a form of plastic which can persist in the environment as long as other forms of plastic[2].  River Ambassadors would like to provide visitors with pocket ash trays so that filters may be easily packed out.  If you have extra mint tins like these, SYRCL would love to repurpose them to help keep our rivers cigarette-free.  Bring your extras to the office between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, or contact Jenn Tamo at jenn@syrcl.org.

 Purdon Potty Party

Purdon poster
Do not miss the Purdon Potty Party, July 30th at the Stonehouse! All proceeds go to servicing the 4 toilets at Purdon throughout the summer.

Did you know the four portable toilets available for public use at Purdon Crossing are provided by Friends of Purdon and SYRCL?  These toilets are vital to the health of the river and keep dangerous human waste out of the river at Purdon.   In order to raise the funds necessary to regularly service the toilets, Friends of Purdon has organized Purdon Potty Party, a Summer Nights after party at the Stonehouse Wednesday, July 30th starting at 9pm.   Enjoy Smiley Coyote, Nadi, Hella Fitzgerald, and Mr. Wonderfool after the last Summer Nights street fair—$10-$20 sliding scale.

Purdon porta-potties
Friends of Purdon has worked hard to transform the toilets into natural granite-looking works of art!










[1] “Litter in America” 2009 KAB Research https://www.preventcigarettelitter.org/why_it_matters/environment.html

[2] Clean VA Waterways https://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/cigarettelitterhome.html 


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