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River & Coastal Cleanups

Protecting the exceptional Smith River and Del Norte’s amazing coastal resources is a tall order that requires a lot of teamwork. Luckily, the Smith River Alliance (SRA) has been rising to the challenge for decades, assuming the role of lead organizer for river and coastal cleanups. We’ve found great satisfaction in working with our partners on these stewardship activities.

In the early days these cleanups were usually implemented with help from Humboldt State University’s (HSU) Natural Resources Club to address the problem of illegal dumping. Annual events involved a mix of local volunteers along with a dozen or more Natural Resources Club members to cleanup illegal dump sites and miscellaneous garbage and debris from sites across the Smith River NRA and along the river. Appliances were frequently recovered and the largest items included abandoned trailers, autos, and even RVs. Special thanks to our partners the Trash Dogs and Tidewater Contractors who assisted with some of the vehicles.

More recently, SRA has expanded its volunteer base as well as the scope and range of cleanups thanks to the Whale Tail License Plate Fund and corporate sponsors. SRA currently hosts and organizes annual Coastal Cleanups across the county including coastal wetland areas, as well as River and Smith River NRA Cleanups on an as needed basis. Special thanks to the many partners that make these cleanups possible, including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority, faculty from the Del Norte County Unified School District, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, and a core group of dedicated corporate sponsors. These cleanups are a shining example of how our community works together to steward and care for our prized public land and resources.

In addition to expanding the territory covered in these cleanups, SRA continues to see a rise in volunteer numbers and pounds of garbage removed. 2019 saw our largest turn out to date! Check out some of the links below to read more about past events or email us to learn how you can volunteer. It’s great exercise and super-fun to be part of a successful river or coastal cleanup. Plus, you can’t beat the fabulous scenery!

Click here to read an exciting account of teamwork on the river
Click here to read about the 2019 Coastal Cleanup