With half of Sonoma County adults fully vaccinated for Covid-19, summertime fun has already begun on the Russian River. Unfortunately, these outings mean more coolers, more dogs, more trash, and a greater risk of fire. We all need to do our part to love the river without loving it to death.

Here are some ways you can keep your river day responsible.

1 – Start at home by packing your picnic in reusable containers. The top source of shoreline trash is from single-use food and beverage packaging. Plastic water bottles, straws, pull or screw-off caps, cans and wrappers harm wildlife and ruins a day at the beach.

2 – Don’t treat the river like a toilet. With fewer public restrooms open during the pandemic, take the time to find the closest facilities. Bring compostable bags to pick up your and your pet’s waste. Those little piles add up and can make people sick.

3 – Don’t treat the river like a trashcan, either. Put your garbage in the appropriate waste, recycle or compost bins if available. Better yet, pack out what you pack in.

4 – Help educate others to practice river stewardship and accountability, particularly if they seem unaware of the problems with trash. Bring extra bags to share with others.

5 – Spend 10 minutes of your day outside picking up litter and making the shorelines sparkle. Or email us to volunteer with the Russian Riverkeeper Clean Team.

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