Thousands of volunteers make third annual Great Sierra River Cleanup a success |

Thousands of volunteers make third annual Great Sierra River Cleanup a success

Special to the Sun

AUBURN, Calif. andamp;#8212; About 2,000 volunteers collected approximately 36,000 pounds of trash, appliances, car parts and other debris during the third annual Great Sierra River Cleanup. The event, which is sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC), includes a growing list of 50 partner organizations throughout the Sierra Nevada. A full listing can be found on the SNC Web site;#8220;It is refreshing to see so many volunteers spending a few hours to be good stewards of their rivers, lakes and streams,andamp;#8221; said SNC Executive Officer, Jim Branham. andamp;#8220;About 23 million Californians get their water from the Sierra so it is great to watch the Great Sierra River Cleanup growing in support each year.andamp;#8221;Volunteers scoured beaches and riverbanks to collect paper trash, aluminum cans, plastic bags, cigarette butts, cardboard, glass bottles and other items. Some of the more interesting items removed during this yearandamp;#8217;s cleanup include a cappuccino machine, a spice rack, a burned cell phone and a trampoline frame.Several members of the State Legislature served as honorary co-chairs for the event: 1st District Senator Ted Gaines and 4th District Senator Doug LaMalfa, as well as Assembly Members Connie Conway, 34th District; Beth Gaines, 4th District; Jim Nielsen, 2nd District; Alyson Huber, 10th District; and Bob Wieckowski, 20th District. Senator Gaines also participated at a cleanup in Folsom and Assemblywoman Gaines picked up trash at a site in Auburn.The Great Sierra River Cleanup took place at 100 sites in the Sierra and virtually every watershed was included. Plans are already underway for next year. The Cleanup began in 2009 in conjunction with the annual California Coastal Cleanup event. Combined, the two events make up the largest annual one-day volunteer event in California.The Great Sierra River Cleanup is presented by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy with major support from PGandamp;E, CalTransandamp;#8217; andamp;#8220;Donandamp;#8217;t Trash Californiaandamp;#8221; Litter Prevention Campaign, and the California Ski Industry Association. Additional support comes from The Pacific Forest and Watersheds Stewardship Council, Sierra Pacific Foundation, Crystal Geyser, Oracle and Whole Foods Market.The Great Sierra River Cleanup 2011 is also supported by the California Coastal Commission and the Ocean Conservancy. This event is made possible by the hard work of hundreds of local nonprofits and government agencies throughout the state and thousands of volunteers annually. About the Sierra Nevada ConservancyCreated in 2004, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy is a state agency whose mission is to improve the environmental, economic, and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada region. In its first five years, the SNC, which receives no general fund tax dollars, has awarded approximately $40 million in grants for projects including fuels reduction, conservation easements and acquisitions, and watershed and habitat restoration. Funding for these projects comes from Proposition 84 passed by California voters in 2006.

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