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SYRCL’s 2023 Yuba River Cleanup
September 23, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
SYRCL’s 26th Annual Yuba River Cleanup will be taking place on September 23, 2023 (with a self-guided component the following week). This annual event not only demonstrates Nevada County’s pride in the beauty of its watershed but has become a critical part of keeping the Yuba from further environmental degradation due to overuse and unthinking recreators.
Last year, with the help of over 400 Yuba River loving volunteers donating more than 1,220 hours, we were able to remove over 10,600 pounds of trash and recycling (about the weight of five average adult rhinoceroses) from 23 sites in the Yuba River watershed.
Volunteers pulled out all sorts of waste from the 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.
SYRCL hopes that this year the human impact on the watershed will be less. SYRCL’s River Ambassadors continue to encourage visitors to pack it in and pack it out while practicing other forms of river etiquette, but we know that carelessness and insensitivity are part of the tourist experience for some, and we’re not able to be at the crossings every day to remind folk of their duty to preserve our watershed.
Last year’s Yuba River Cleanup presented some unique obstacles, from record breaking heat to hazardous AQI due to the smoke from the Mosquito Fire, both stark reminders of the effects of climate change to our area, so this year we are doing a lot of advanced planning to try to mitigate some of these potential challenges.