This summer, River Ambassadors spent twelve weekends at four popular South Yuba River crossings where they raised awareness about the need for collective care and stewardship at the river. As visitors flocked to the cool waters of the Yuba, they were welcomed and reminded by SYRCL volunteers that we all play a part in keeping the Yuba River healthy, clean and safe.
Thirty-seven SYRCL volunteers spent weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day on the river.
River Ambassadors Exceed Program Goals
For sixteen years, SYRCL has been a force on the river, coordinating extensive community Cleanups spanning throughout the watershed. Now, SYRCL has a presence on the river all summer long. In 2014, River Ambassadors and Captains dedicated over 1,000 hours to the program and exceeded expectations by speaking with 6,799 people about best stewardship practices and fire-safety. Over the course of the summer, volunteers removed: 1,602 cigarette filters, 542 piles of dog waste and 5,242 pieces of trash. Below is a graph depicting compiled River Ambassador statistics from the past three seasons.
River Ambassadors Share Their Inspiration
One of SYRCL’s newest volunteers, Elizabeth, reminisced fondly of her last shift at Purdon Crossing where she was serenaded by a lovely couple and a ukulele player! She said, “For me River Ambassadors was my introduction to the Yuba watershed. I grew up in a neighboring watershed on the American River and this was a way for me to introduce myself to the Yuba.” Elizabeth said she enjoyed being a part of the program because it gave her a way to play an active role in SYRCL’s advocacy work. Lucetta, who has been a River Ambassador for the past two years, says she returned to the ambassador program because it provides an, “opportunity to meet, educate and hopefully inspire river visitors to be good environmental stewards.” The response from the community and out-of-towners alike, has been overwhelmingly encouraging. River Ambassador Kathy said, “Most people we talk to are happy to see us there and appreciate the work we do cleaning up and promoting conservation.”
River Ambassadors not only keep the Yuba beautiful by encouraging environmental stewardship, but they also serve as the eyes and ears on the river.
Two Programs, One Goal: Keep the Yuba River Clean, Healthy and Safe
River Ambassadors and the Cleanup share the common goal of uniting the community to keep the Yuba clean! Please join SYRCL and over 500 volunteers as they embark on the 17th Annual Yuba River Cleanup & Restoration Day—over the years nearly 160,000 pounds of trash and recycling have been removed from the Yuba and Bear watersheds! Register for your favorite site today and please participate in the Clean-a-thon when you register—ask your friends and family to sponsor your efforts to keep the river clean, and win great prizes, too! If you love the Cleanup and River Ambassador programs, participating in the Clean-a-thon is a great way to keep them going strong, or consider making a personal donation today.
Overtime SYRCL hopes to reduce the need for a Cleanup by empowering the community to keep the Yuba clean year-round.
If you have any questions about the Cleanup or River Ambassador Program, please contact Jenn, SYRCL’s Stewardship Coordinator, at (530) 265-5961 x201 or Jenn@syrcl.org.