Nevada City – The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) is calling on people to help protect the Yuba River watershed by volunteering for the 24th Annual Yuba River Cleanup that runs September 11-18th, 2021.

SYRCL is planning an extended cleanup that will provide more options for those who want to participate. Volunteers have two options—a self-guided cleanup or joining the community to participate in the traditional cleanup on the 18th.

“This year, we are using lessons learned in 2020 to build a longer and stronger cleanup that will reach even more of the Yuba River watershed” said Daniel Belshe, SYRCL’s Community Engagement Manager. “We hope that this new format will allow us to engage additional groups like schools, community organizations, and clubs.”

The amount of trash the Cleanup removes from the watershed has grown over the years, but according to Belshe, the increase in the amount of trash collected is also related to the growth of the event. “SYRCL’s Cleanup has extended to over 30 locations in recent years, making it the largest in California.”

These locations include areas that run along the Yuba and also dump sites and abandoned encampments. Special groups of volunteers have hauled big items like refrigerators, couches, and old tires out of these sites.

“The Cleanup complements our other outreach initiatives like River Ambassadors, which teach river etiquette and safety to river-goers” said Melinda Booth, SYRCL’s Executive Director. “We are seeing a difference in the amount of trash collected at the crossings where River Ambassadors are stationed, but these larger Cleanup efforts are still necessary to reach more of the watershed.”

The 8-day event starts on Saturday, September 11 and runs through the following Saturday, September 18. The traditional large group cleanup will occur on September 18 from 9am to 1pm and be followed by a Volunteer Appreciation party from 1pm to 3pm in Condon Park, pending COVID restrictions. The event will include a free lunch for volunteers along with festivities and music.

Volunteers can register online at Cleanup locations are located all along the Yuba River and throughout the Yuba watershed. Volunteers can choose from a variety of sites on public lands. 

The Yuba River Cleanup, which is part of a larger cleanup effort—the California Coastal Cleanup Day, started in 1985 and is the largest volunteer event in the state. Over the past 20 years, the Yuba River Cleanup has removed more than 250 tons of garbage and recycling. Just last year, 760 volunteers helped remove 3 tons of trash and recycling from the Yuba and surrounding watershed alone.

About the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL): Based in Nevada City, CA, SYRCL (pronounced “circle”) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River watershed. Founded in 1983 through a grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community organization with more than 3,500 members and volunteers.