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Parks Bar photo by Frank Rinella

Nevada City, Calif. September 16, 2018 – From the headwaters along Donner Summit to the confluence of the Yuba and Feather Rivers, hundreds of watershed stewards turned out for the South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL’s) 21st Yuba River Cleanup on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Volunteers scrambled up river banks, down trails and crossed rivers to remove garbage left behind in the past year. The numbers are still rolling in from 32 Cleanup sites. So far, we know at least 700 volunteers removed more than 13,000 pounds of garbage and recyclables from 85 miles of rivers, creeks and lakes.

“It is great to see our community coming together to clean our beloved rivers and creeks. So many people came away from the Cleanup exhausted but beaming with smiles. We can’t thank each of them enough for all their hard work and dedication. Many volunteers mentioned they had picked up less trash than years before at many locations such as Bridgeport, Highway 49 and Edwards Crossing. We hope this is due to the dedication of our summer River Ambassadors program and that Yuba visitors are paying closer attention to the rule of thumb, ‘Pack it in, Pack it out’.” said Daniel Belshe, SYRCL’s Community Engagement Manager.

In addition to families, school groups and businesses pitched in to get their hands dirty for the betterment of several waterways including Gold Run Creek, Deer Creek, Wolf Creek, the Bear River, Englebright Lake, and Kentucky Ravine. Volunteers ranged from one year old to 87 years old and removed an array of items out of the river including bedazzled flipflops, sofas, computer monitors, refrigerators, a hot water heater, roofing tiles, car parts, tires, and hundreds of cigarette butts. SYRCL volunteers also helped restore riparian habitat at two locations this year in partnership with California State Parks and the Bureau of Land Management. Volunteers removed highly invasive species such as Himalayan blackberry and English ivy from Kentucky Ravine and Edward’s Crossing.

“I met dozens of committed volunteers at the Marysville Cleanup site, where we partnered with Yuba County and Yuba Water Agency,” said Melinda Booth, SYRCL’s Executive Director. “Seeing local communities caring for their stretch of the watershed is the best part of the Yuba River Cleanup. From the Yuba’s headwaters down to the confluence with the Feather River, the outpouring of labor and love reminded me how vital our waterways are to our quality of life and sense of place.”

Volunteer Appreciation Party at Pioneer Park

After the Cleanup, SYRCL volunteers gathered at Pioneer Park to celebrate their morning of service and SYRCL’s 35th anniversary. They enjoyed a complimentary lunch, sponsored by Emily’s Catering, the BriarPatch Coop and SPD Market. They heard from Nevada County Supervisor Ed Scofield, Grass Valley Mayor Howard Levine, and Nevada City Councilmember Reinette Senum. California State Parks Sierra Gold Supervising Ranger Ryan Randar expressed appreciation to all volunteers on behalf of the South Yuba River State Park. All attendees enjoyed donated performances by The Heifer Belles and Red Dirt Ruckus.

River Ambassadors praised for seventh year of stewardship

SYRCL also honored the 34 River Ambassador volunteers who participated in the program this summer. Now in its 7th year, this program brings volunteers to popular river crossings of the Yuba to speak face-to-face with visitors about stewardship. This season, River Ambassadors spoke to more than 12,000 Yuba River visitors, a record-breaking number.

Clean-a-thon Nearing Goal

The Cleanup and the River Ambassador programs keep the Yuba healthy, clean and safe year-round, and they have real costs. SYRCL needs the community’s help to keep them going. So far, $7,000 has been raised to fund these vital programs.

“We’ve had an outpouring of support, and we hope to close our $8,000 fundraising gap in the next two weeks,” said Julie Pokrandt, SYRCL’s Development Director. The Clean-a-thon Campaign will stay open on Crowdrise until October 1. “Please visit https://www.crowdrise.com/21st-annual-yuba-river-cleanup- 2018 or stop by the SYRCL office to make a donation to support these stewardship efforts.”

The Yuba River Cleanup and River Ambassador program are made possible thanks these generous sponsors and partners. SYRCL would like to thank:

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The Tahoe National Forest, Pacific Gas & Electric, Yuba Water Agency, Balance Hydrologics, Body Logic Physical Therapy, California Solar Electric Company, Donner Summit Public Utilities District, Floracopeia, Inc, Grass Valley, A Belden Brand, UNFI, Western Aggregates LLC, A-One Bookkeeping, ArborMetrics Solutions, California State Parks Foundation, Cranmer Engineering, Inc., Fit for Life Physical Therapy, Gather Jewelry, Gold Country Kiwanis Club, Grass Valley Hydro Garden, Janet Peake, MBA, CFP, EA, Nevada Irrigation District, NV5 , SCO Planning and Engineering, South Yuba River Park Association & Friends of Malakoff Diggins State Park, Truckee Donner Land Trust, Truckee Tahoe Airport District, B & C Ace Hardware, Clientworks Inc., Coldwell Banker Grass Roots Realty, Law Office of James S. Lazar, Reliable Auto Glass, Sierra College, Sperry Highland Commercial, Mike Bratton & State Farm Insurance, Sweetland Garden Mercantile, Auburn Office Products, Nevada City Engineering, Peaceful Valley Farm Supply, Redfin, SRC Party Rentals, Caliber Collision, Sierra Theaters, Chiropractic Plus.

SYRCL also thanks the Cleanup’s in-kind contributors: Emily’s Catering, the BriarPatch Coop, SPD Market, Sierra Theaters, KVMR, Three Forks Bakery and Brewing Company, Grass Valley Brewing Company, Crispin Cider, Jernigan’s Tap House, the Flour Garden, Broad Street Bistro, Spring Street Market & Deli, Caroline’s Coffee, Yuba Bus, Safeway, Raley’s, Grocery Outlet, Carl’s Junior, Bidwell Water, Waste Management, the Heifer Belles, Red Dirt Ruckus, and Rich Mead Sound.

SYRCL also deeply appreciates the cooperation and support of these community and agency partners: California State Parks, the U.S. Forest Service & Tahoe National Forest, Waste Management, the Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, Grass Valley Public Works, Caltrans, Nevada City, Nevada County, Placer County, Yuba County, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, American Rivers, Soda Springs General Store, Wolf Creek Community Alliance, Nevada County Historical Society and many others.

About SYRCL

The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, 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. See: www.yubariver.org.