Stories from the Smith River Alliance Newsletter

Earth Day Clean-Up a Huge Success!

The Smith River Alliance organized one of the it’s most successful coastal cleanups to date!

SRA staff were joined by community volunteers, students from the Del Norte High School Interact Club and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to remove illegally dumped and abandoned trash in the Elk Creek Wetlands Wildlife Area, Crescent Beach, and Front Street Beach Park on Earth Day April 22.

Collectively, SRA and volunteers removed 4,900 pounds of trash during the 2.5 hour cleanup event, surpassing the 2021 cleanup amount of 2,500 pounds. Shopping carts, wooden pallets, mattresses, car tires, scrap metal and food wrappers were among the many items found during the cleanup.

This Earth Day effort successfully removed trash that could have polluted our marine ecosystem, potentially harming wildlife and visitors.

“I am excited to be able to support a larger community effort in keeping our coast clean,” said Gustavo Vasquez, Program Associate with the SRA coordinating coastal cleanup efforts. “We really appreciate all our volunteers, partners and sponsors. I am excited about the group that came together and for our future cleanups!”

This event would not have been possible without our partners and sponsors, a big thank you to: Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority, CalTrans, Crescent Ace, Elk Valley Rancheria and Casino, Home Depot, Rumiano Cheese and Schmidt’s House of Jambalaya.

“With roughly 80 percent of Del Norte County in public ownership, there are vast stewardship opportunities,” said Grant Werschkull, Co-Executive Director. “This work is important to Del Norte County’s travel and tourism-based economy and it is great exercise!”

The program is funded by the California Coastal Commission’s Whale Tail Grants Program. SRA is planning a number of stewardship opportunities this year, including a July 5th cleanup to recover trash and fireworks left from July 4 and the annual California Coastal Cleanup on September 17. Don’t forget to sign-up as a volunteer on our website to get an email reminder!

Did you know that SRA is now the official Adopt-A-Beach Manager for Del Norte County? This special program is in partnership with the California Coastal Commission, which provides gloves and trash bags for volunteers interested in organizing at least three beach cleanups within the same year and helping keep our coastlines clean!

If you are interested in adopting a beach with a group, please email Gustavo Vasquez, Program Associate with the Smith River Alliance at Gustavo@smithriveralliance.org.

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