AUBURN, Calif. — The Sierra Nevada Region is a world-renowned destination for adventure and discovery, and contains recreational gems like Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and Mammoth Mountain which draw visitors from around the world. Unfortunately, people don’t always pack out what they pack in, the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds reported today.
Sierra Nevada rivers, lakes, and streams are the source of drinking water for 23 million Californians. These waterways also provide for activities as wild as river rafting or as relaxed as resting near a babbling stream. This year, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and dozens of local groups throughout the Sierra, including CalARVC, are asking for help to keep these waterways clean.
Sept. 20, the 6th annual Great Sierra River Cleanup is being organized to help keep the Sierra spot trash-free. Thousands of volunteers will join together to remove items like tires, cigarette butts, appliances, baby diapers, and cans and bottles galore.
“And what you find this year could be even more interesting than ever before,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of CalARVC. “As we face drought conditions for the third year in a row, water levels are lower than ever. Volunteers will be granted a rare and possibly surprising look into the trash that has previously been submerged below the surface of our waterways. So bring your little explorers, your treasure hunters, and your adventurers, and make a discovery of your own.”
There is a job for everyone, Sipe noted, whether people want to work at the registration table, pick up litter along the waterline, snorkel for underwater trash, wrestle with larger items, or help out loading a dumpster.
Over the last five years, more than 19,000 volunteers have collectively removed nearly 600 tons of trash from the rivers, lakes, and streams of the Sierra Nevada. While the primary goal is to collect trash, the event also serves as an opportunity to promote stewardship of the waterways that provide more than 60 percent of California’s developed water supply, said Sipe.
To find a cleanup, visit the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s web site at www.sierranevada.ca.gov and check out the cleanup map on the Great Sierra River Cleanup page.
“Pick an area, register with the coordinating group, and head out Sept. 20 to help us clean up our streams, rivers, and lakes,” said Sipe. “Also, visit our Facebook page for pictures, information, updates, and more. We’ll see you on the river.”
Participants are encouraged to bring closed-toed shoes, appropriate clothing, hat, sunscreen, water, gloves, and a bucket or reusable bag.
The Great Sierra River Cleanup is a volunteer event coordinated by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and held in conjunction with California Coastal Cleanup Day. Together these two events form the largest one-day volunteer event in California, and serve to promote healthy waterways from the source to the sea, Sipe explained.
SOURCE: California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds press release