The morning began with a 45 minute tour of Premier Mushroom’s farming operation. After the tour came to a close, participants caravanned to the state park and hiked 15 minutes to an ecological restoration site. Here, professional biologist Michael Rogner of River Partners discussed the reasoning behind the restoration project and why it’s so important. Initially, our plan was to drive on-site, but muddy conditions limited car access and enthusiastic volunteers showed no hesitation about making the trek on foot.
As 12:30 approached, everyone prepared for the cleanup in an effort to gather at least 67 lbs. of debris(last year’s number). With a total of 720 lbs. collected, our target was blown clear out of the water. Some memorable findings were abandoned tires, a wash machine and an old lazy boy chair. The buried washing machine proved most challenging and required a truck to free it from the levy basin. However, small items didn't go unnoticed as volunteers commandeered 204 cigarette butts and 113 small food wrappers.
Of that 720 lbs. there was 270lbs. of recyclable items. All cans/bottles were recycled through conventional channels while the metal washing machine and tires were recycled locally at NorCal Steel Recycling / Superior Tire Service.
Although Colusa’s 2nd Annual River Clean-Up was met with rain, it gradually subsided and allowed us to do our work uninterrupted.
Statewide, there were 51,000 volunteers who removed close to 500,000 pounds of debris from our beaches, streams, rivers, and lakes across California. Worldwide, there were over half a million volunteers who collected 10 million pounds of debris. This simply shows what an enormous impact a dedicated group of volunteers can have in creating a lasting change.
Here's one of our favorite quotes: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world, it's the only thing that ever has."
To wrap things up, we’d also like to give special thanks to our sponsors, including; Steelhead Lodge, Central Valley Gas Storage and Tommy’s Market Street Grill. Steelhead was kind enough to barbeque hamburgers and hotdogs while Tommy’s provided an enormous macaroni salad. Each of them also donated gift cards which were awarded to volunteers who won our prize raffle. Additionally, Central Valley Gas Storage showed their support by helping to provide a clean-up t-shirt for each of the volunteers.
One last time, we’d like to give a huge thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who made this day possible. This WOULD NOT have been possible without you.
As promised last year, the 2nd Annual Colusa River Clean-Up was bigger and better in every way than the 1st. Now, we’re going to make the same pledge for 2014!
See you out on the river next year!