Join a Local Cleanup

September 17, 2022

About the Great Sierra River Cleanup

The idea for a statewide cleanup was started by Oregon resident Judy Neilson in 1984. Judy organized the “Plague of Plastics” event in October of that year due to rising concerns over the amount of plastic debris along the coast. In 1985, California emulated those efforts and created the California Coastal Cleanup Day, led by the Coastal Cleanup Commission. 

In 1993, California Coastal Cleanup Day was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest garbage collection” ever organized, with 50,405 volunteers. Since then, the reach of Coastal Cleanup Day has spread inland, as most of the marine debris that we find on our beaches actually starts as urban trash or street litter.

The Great Sierra River Cleanup (GSRC) is one of many California Coastal Cleanup Day events. Previously hosted by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the Sierra Nevada Alliance is very excited to host GSRC this year, and to continue the statewide effort to reduce plastic pollution and litter in and around our Sierra waterways. For more information on California Coastal Cleanup Day, visit the Coastal Cleanup Commission’s page.

About the Sierra Nevada and the Alliance

The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range that lies primarily in the state of California with the Carson Range spur expanding into Nevada. The Sierra runs 400 miles north to south, and 50 to 80 miles east to west. The Sierra houses General Sherman, the world’s largest tree by volume; Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America; and Mount Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 United States.

The Sierra is rich in natural resources. It produces 60% of California’s water supply and supplies the state with 50% of its hydroelectric energy. Wildlife is abundant with 3500 plant, 572 animal, and 321 aquatic species. This is a big weight to bear, all while hosting 788,000 residents and 50 million annual visitors.

This region is at risk, and the Alliance is leading the way to build resiliency in the face of climate change and explosive wildfire.

Our Mission:  We are a hub for stewardship of the Sierra Nevada, which we achieve by empowering and collaborating with our partners.

Our Vision:  Every Sierra ecosystem and community is healthy, resilient, and collectively cared for through thriving partnerships, as a legacy for future generations.

Thank you for your support to join in and protect this precious area.

Join a Cleanup

Thank you for joining the Great Sierra River Cleanup. Click a point on the map or the host site location and register for a cleanup near you. More locations coming soon!

Cleanup Host Sites & Locations

Alpine Watershed Group – Markleeville, CA
American River Conservancy – Coloma, CA, Placerville, CA & Lotus, CA
Bureau of Reclamation – Vallecito, CA & Angels Camp, CA
Eastern Sierra Land Trust – Bishop, CA
East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) – Valley Springs, CA, Jackson, CA & Clements, CA
Kern River Conservancy – Bakersfield, CA
Laguna Creek Watershed Council, Elk Grove Anti-Trash – Elk Grove, CA
Lake Almanor Watershed Group (Sierra Institute for Community and Environment) – Westwood, CA
League to Save Lake Tahoe – Keep Tahoe Blue – Zephyr Cove, NV
Mammoth Lakes Trail System – Mammoth Lakes, CA
North Fork American River Alliance – Colfax, CA
Placer Land Trust – Auburn, CA
Plumas Corporation – Quincy, CA
San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, Inc – Friant, CA
Sierra Foothill Conservancy – Mariposa, CA
South Yuba River Citizens League – Multiple – Nevada County, CA
Tuolumne River Trust – Tuolumne, CA

Site Captain Resources

Host a cleanup

Cleanup supply order form

Coordinator and Host Site Captains Manual

Coastal Cleanup Commission’s Site Captain Guide

Marketing Toolkit

Site Captain agenda and meetings notes

Waivers

  • Adult waiver
  • Minor waiver
  • Additional waiver signature page
  • Note:
    • For adults – sign only the “adult” version of the full waiver, or on the additional signature page.
    • For minors – have the supervising adult sign their waiver first (so that we know that we have captured their information), and then have them sign only the “Minor” side of the full waiver. This will avoid requiring the adult to sign the waiver three times.
    • Please do NOT use the “additional signatures” page for Minor sign-ins. They need to be signed in on the complete “Minor” side of the waiver.

Timeline

  • September 17 (9 am – 12 pm): Cleanup Day
    • Greet volunteers, safety talk, host cleanup.
    • Volunteers use the Volunteer Data Forms to track the litter they pick up.
    • Take photos.
      • We’re looking for smiles, people working, people having fun, families and friends together, unique trash, lots of trash, pictures of the water, etc. Before and after photos are great! 
      • The liability waiver includes a photo release, so be sure that all participants have signed this form so that you can use their images for publicity purposes. 
      • If possible, title the photos so that they can be easily identified with the date of the cleanup, name of the group, and photographer’s name
  • September 17 (12 – 2 pm): Cleanup Day
    • Site captains collect Volunteer Data Forms.
    • Compile all Volunteer Data Forms on one Site Captain Summary Sheet.
    • Email the Site Captain Summary Sheet to greatsierrarivercleanup@sierranevadaalliance.org AND rebecca@sierranevadaalliance.org by 1 pm – no later.
      • If you are not able to email, try texting a photo of the Summary Sheet to (775) 971-8018.
    • Select 5-10 of the best photos from your event and drop them in the Google folder with your group’s name on it.
      • We’re looking for smiles, people working, people having fun, families and friends together, unique trash, lots of trash, pictures of the water, etc. Before and after photos are great! 
      • The liability waiver includes a photo release, so be sure that all participants have signed this form so that you can use their images for publicity purposes. 
      • If possible, title the photos so that they can be easily identified with the date of the cleanup, name of the group, and photographer’s name.
    • SNA completes GSRC Coordinator Summary Sheet and returns to CCC by 2 pm.
    • Celebrate with your staff and volunteers!
  • By October 15 (More information to come)
  • By October 31
    • Thank your volunteers, sponsors, etc.
    • Assess surplus supplies.
    • Complete SNA’s event evaluation online (instructions will be emailed to you).

Contact Us

Contact us if you have questions about the event or to learn more about the Great Sierra River Cleanup at greatsierrarivercleanup@sierranevadaalliance.org.

Event Sponsors

Thank you to our generous sponsors dedicated to protecting and preserving the Sierra Nevada now and for future generations. To become a sponsor, contact Jennifer@sierranevadaalliance.org.

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