Nevada City, CA – From September 12th to the 24th, with the help of over 400 Yuba River loving volunteers donating more than 1,220 hours, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) was able to remove over 10,600 pounds of trash and recycling from 23 sites in the Yuba River watershed.

Peter Burns at Parks Bar

This year’s Yuba River Cleanup presented some unique challenges, from record breaking heat to hazardous AQI as a result of the Mosquito Fire. While the combination of these factors made navigating the cleanup difficult — SYRCL even had to cancel its Volunteer Appreciation Party at Bridgeport on the 17th due to unhealthy smoke conditions – it also provided a stark reminder of the effects of climate change and human activity to our area.  

This year, volunteers pulled out all sorts of waste from the Yuba River watershed. From tires to yoga mats, thigh high boots to car bumpers, the unfortunate insensitivity, ignorance, and carelessness of people towards the environment was on full display. By the end of the thirteen days of the Cleanup, SYRCL counted over 2,000 cigarette butts, 1,200 bottle caps, and nearly 4,000 pieces of glass and plastic in nearly 400 bags of trash.

Still, although it was another busy visitor season on the South Yuba River, SYRCL is happy to report that they have seen a reduction in the amount of visitor trash and recycling this year. Volunteers reported much less single-use visitor trash where SYRCL’s River Ambassadors were present. In addition, the Yuba River community has really stepped up this summer to protect the trails and beaches at major river crossings by packing out their own trash as well as the trash others had left.

Unfortunately, there was still a lot of refuse littered throughout the watershed. Reports of and citations for illegal mining increased in 2022. So, too, did illegal dumping, with a number of large dumpsites found this year. The largest proportion of trash and recycling encountered during SYRCL’s 25th Annual Yuba River Cleanup came from dumpsites in Tahoe National Forest and sites along the lower Yuba River.

All in all, despite its many challenges, SYRCL considers the 25th Annual Yuba River Cleanup a success. SYRCL wants to send out an extra special thank you to 400+ hardworking volunteers that rolled up their sleeves and rolled with the punches and made this event a success. It could not have been done without them.

SYRCL would also like to thank the generous sponsors of this year’s Cleanup: USFS – Tahoe National Forest, Latrobe Fund, Darlene & John Abt, Briar Patch Food Co-Op, PG&E, Yuba Water Agency, AJA Video, A-One Bookkeeping, A. Teichert & Sons, Balance Hydrologics, Body Logic Physical Therapy, California Organics Market & Cafe, Donner Summit Public Utilities District, 49er Rotary Club, Sweetland Garden Mercantile, Western Aggregates, Stantec Consulting Services, All Phase Heating & Air, B&C Ace Hardware, Bimini Corps, cbec, Inc., Clientworks Inc., Fit for Life Physical Therapy, Gold Country Kiwanis Club, Sierra Gold Parks Foundation, Teichert Rock Products, Truckee Tahoe Airport District, Mike Bratton – State Farm Insurance, SCO Planning and Engineering, Coldwell Banker Grass Roots Realty, Sierra College, Economy Pest Control, SRC Party Rentals, and Nevada City Engineering,

Finally, SYRCL also appreciates the business supporters who lent invaluable in-kind support: Dr Bronner’s, California Solar Electric, Good Sun Solar, Flour Garden Bakery, Emily’s Cakes & Catering, Diego’s Restaurant, Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co, SPD, Jernigan’s Tap House & Grill, and Waste Management.