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Statewide Coastal Cleanup Day Includes American River Parkway

Stock / Capital Public Radio

A small portion of the bags filled by volunteers after a morning of clean-up on the American River Parkway on Sept. 22, 2013.

Stock / Capital Public Radio

Thousands of people throughout California will be picking up trash and debris Saturday along coastal areas and riverbanks - including in Sacramento.

Coastal Cleanup Day is California's largest volunteer event held in mid-September every year at more than 900 sites. One of those sites is the American River Parkway, the 23-mile stretch from Discovery Park to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.

"We've found tires, we've found couches, fans, you name it. I mean, it's unfortunate that people consider the parkway a dump," says Dianna Poggetto with the American River Parkway Foundation.

She says a lot more debris is found along the parkway, and in the water, this time of year. That's because during the summer months, more people are swimming and rafting in the river.

"So not only do we have volunteers on land but we also have divers and kayakers picking up trash that's in the river," says Poggetto.

"We do several cleanups throughout the year," says Poggetto. "And we have mile stewards that are there on a weekly basis. But this one is in conjunction with the California Coastal Cleanup, and so it's a statewide effort all on the same day. And this is our largest cleanup we do. Our spring cleanup has about 600 people and this one is usually 2,000."

Saturday's event in Sacramento is called The Great American River Cleanup. It starts at 9:00 a.m. and lasts until noon. 

Because of a wildfire in the parkway that blackened more than 170 acres behind Cal Expo yesterday, a cleanup site scheduled at that location has been moved to Northrop Avenue.

The Parkway Foundation made the call to move the clean-up site from Cal Expo to Northrop Avenue for safety reasons. There are still hot spots in the area, as well as limbs falling from trees that burned in the fire.