Saturday, September 17th 2016 was an organized effort to clean up and remove trash from the Russian River and its tributaries, from the upper headwaters in Redwood Valley down to Guerneville. Over 100 cubic yards of trash were removed from Sonoma County alone, in addition to tons from Mendocino. For details of this event and how one might be a sponsor for next year’s event, please visit the Watershed Cleanup website for more information.
We humans have a responsibility to pick up our trash before it gets into the Russian River. The discarded objects of human consumption can have a serious negative effect on wildlife and water quality. Everything from motor oil on a paved parking lot, to cigarette butts to household trash that was purposely dumped into the river bank needs to get taken to its proper place so that our beloved river can stay clean! Then, there is the touchy subject of homeless people living in our waterways, under bridges, and allowing all their junk to wash downstream. We must strive for communication with these camps and work towards a cleaner solution to what you see below.
To do something about this ongoing problem, a riverside resident named Chris Brokate created Clean River Alliance “To remove trash from the Russian River watershed, and to educate citizens about the problem of river trash in our waters by creating more public river clean-up events.” They believe that in order to be effective in this effort they need to educate and encourage participation by all members of our community, including the homeless. If you would like to join the “Garbage Patch Kids” on one of their weekly cleanup efforts, click HERE.
Cross and Crown Church Youth Group at Johnson’s Beach, July 6, 2016
This group wanted to do a trash clean-up, followed by a swim. We immediately thought of Johnson’s Beach, and thought it would be a nice way to thank them for hosting our River Race finish line party. Our work focused on removing the small bits of trash (cigarette butts, bottle caps, broken glass, food wrappers) from the gravel beach, to make it clean and safe after a busy holiday weekend.
Windsor Oaks Academy Students and B-Rad Foundation join with Clean River Alliance at Russian River mouth, May 11, 2016
In the third and final installment of the Russian River watershed stewardship lesson plan, we teamed up to scour the beach from the rivermouth to Goat Rock. A group of gray whales made a appearance in the river mouth, feeding and frolicking in the waves as if to say “Thank You!” This was a fantastic day towards the very end of the school year and the students were stoked to be at the beach, reflecting on the school year and looking forward to summer break.
Jackson Family Wines employees Feb. 18th, 24th and 26th, 2016
We are so grateful to this superb effort by Jackson Family Wines for truly supporting the health of our Russian River by volunteering on three days to remove thousands of pounds of trash from a remote stretch of river between Geyserville and Cloverdale, then from West Slough in Healdsburg, and from Monte Rio. Dozens of employees, from grape growers to scientists to office administrators volunteered over these three major work days. This is a wonderful model partnership between a local company and Russian Riverkeeper.