River Ambassador Volunteers Needed
Take action to help protect the Yuba River this summer by joining the 2022 River Ambassador team. Encourage visitors to think critically about threats to the river, and inspire stewardship to keep the river healthy, clean, and safe for all.
Visitors come from far and wide to enjoy the wild and scenic beauty of the Yuba River, making it one of Nevada County’s biggest attractions. Its popularity continues to grow with nearly 800,000 visitors drawn annually by beautiful photos of folks swimming through emerald pools surrounded by smooth, limestone boulders.
Unfortunately, what isn’t communicated through these beautiful photos are the impacts of dog waste, broken glass, trash, and an increased threat of human-induced wildfire. People come for the river’s pristine landscapes but rarely leave it that way. This imposes immense pressure on the health and quality of the river. However, now is your chance to help.
To keep the South Yuba River from being “loved to death,” SYRCL created the River Ambassador program in partnership with California State Parks. River Ambassadors are volunteers passionate about the health and safety of our river and our river community. River Ambassadors are stationed at three highly trafficked river crossings to chat one-on-one with visitors.
Ambassadors serve as diplomats for the South Yuba River Citizens League. They warmly welcome visitors to the river, provide river safety information, answer questions, provide tips for enjoying the river responsibility, and contact emergency services when accidents happen.
“As River Ambassadors we carry out our duties with a diplomatic demeanor,” says Jamie Fong, SYRCL’s Education and Outreach Coordinator. “We are cordial in our approach with the intention to educate, not enforce. The goal is to keep a positive relationship between visitors and the Yuba River by inviting people to adopt best stewardship practices such as Leave No Trace.”
This is as simple as offering visitors the opportunity to “Pack it Out”. Long-time volunteer, Barbara Jones, told us “As a River Ambassador, we make it easy for people to practice stewardship,” which can mean starting a conversation with “Welcome to the Yuba River! Do you need a trash bag? I have an extra one for you” or “I’m so glad that this river crossing is dog friendly. Do you need a poop bag? Great, I have an extra.”
If you are interested in learning more about protecting the Yuba as a River Ambassador volunteer this summer, please join us for an Informational Meeting about the program on Wednesday, May 11th from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. If you have any questions, please contact Maddie Davis, SYRCL’s Community Engagement & Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to learn even more? Read about the challenges that the Yuba River faced in 2021 by reading SYRLC’s Visitor Impact Survey Results.