Volunteers trolled the banks of the Tuolumne and Stanislaus rivers for trash Saturday, during the fifth annual Great Sierra River Cleanup. It was part of a statewide effort.
The aim of the events in Modesto, Riverbank and Oakdale is to improve the health of the streams for wildlife, recreation and drinking water by removing trash.
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy put on the three-hour morning cleanups with help from local groups. At the Tuolumne River cleanup, volunteers gathered at Legion Park, south of the airport neighborhood, and at Seventh Street and Tuolumne Boulevard. Trash pickup was from canoes, as well as along the banks for the approximately 200 who volunteered. The Tuolumne River Trust organized the event with several partners.
The Stanislaus River cleanups took place at Jacob Myers Park, off Santa Fe Road in Riverbank, and at the Oakdale Shopping Center, where Highway 120 crosses the river. They were sponsored by the East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District and its partners.
Three nonprofits covered a number of locations in Fresno and Madera counties, while other mountain volunteers picked up trash in the foothills as part of the Great Sierra River Cleanup, according to The Fresno Bee. The groups efforts fell under the umbrella of California Coastal Cleanup Day.
Last year, nearly 66,000 people statewide collected almost 770,000 pounds of trash from beaches, rivers, streams and lakes, said officials from the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, Inc.
General information about the Great Sierra River Cleanup is at www.sierranevada.ca.gov.