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
Bear Yuba Land Trust
Bureau of Reclamation – Vallecito, CA & Angels Camp, CA
City of Folsom
Eastern Sierra Land Trust
East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) – Valley Springs, CA, Jackson, CA & Clements, CA
Feather River College
Foothill Conservancy – Jackson, CA
Kern River Conservancy – Bakersfield, CA
Laguna Creek Watershed Council, Elk Grove Anti-Trash
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
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
Tuolumne River Trust

Contact Us

Contact us if you have questions about the event or to learn more about the Great Sierra River Cleanup at

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

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