Now that we are in a new year and we ready ourselves for the work of 2017 it only makes sense to peek back into the past twelve months and add up our totally grass-roots, all-volunteer accomplishments.
This year, over 550 volunteers have removed 155,510 pounds of garbage from the Russian River watershed between Hopland and Jenner. Of that total, about 45,000 pounds was collected, bagged and staged for us by a subset of dedicated volunteers who are currently living without houses. None of that trash will land on our beaches this winter, nor will it end up in the Pacific Ocean – ever.
Clean River Alliance has spent the year expanding our efforts and adding more events to our calendar. These include:
- A weekly town cleanup in Guerneville every Monday afternoon;
- An outreach effort to our house-less neighbors through the Vets Connect program every Thursday at the Guerneville Veterans Memorial Hall, followed by the pick-up of trash that has been bagged up and staged for us by those same neighbors in the lower Russian River;
- The 29th annual Russian River Watershed Clean-up in September in collaboration with many other agencies and entities;
- Other watershed projects to remove detritus left by beach-goers, tourists and campers;
- And, continued outreach and education efforts to residents and visitors alike on the importance of clean waterways.
None of this would have been possible without the ongoing support of many agencies and entities that have provided us with access, encouragement, in-kind contributions and fiscal sponsorship.
Thanks to Don McEnhill and Russian Riverkeeper for their faith in us and undying support. Thanks to the County of Sonoma, our Board of Supervisors and their staff-people, and the Sonoma County Water Agency for assistance when we ask, and for picking up the phone when we call. Thanks to West County Health Center’s Homeless Outreach Team for its collaborative spirit and ongoing encouragement, and to West County Community Services for all it does and is trying to do.
Along with these collaborations, we have also been honored to partner with other local community groups and non-profit organizations. Amongst these are the B-Rad Foundation, Surfrider Foundation, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, North County Community Services, our local schools and businesses and many more.
Mostly, thanks to our utterly dedicated volunteers, aka: The Garbage Patch Kids, who continue to show up even when it’s cold and wet and muddy. Faced with the direst circumstances, they remain cheerful, understanding, passionate and compassionate. They are our most valuable assets and with them we are a growing, thriving organization.
Please consider a contribution now so we can continue to grow and expand our efforts in the coming year. To make a donation online, go to http://russianriverkeeper.org/what-you-can-do/donate/ Make sure to include a comment noting that your donation is for Clean River Alliance.
You can also mail us a check to P.O. Box 536, Guerneville CA 95446.
With sincere appreciation and best wishes for a Happy New Year!
And the crew of Clean River Alliance