The Great Sierra River Cleanup

Everyone is Welcome!

SierraCleanUpLogo 2014The Sierra Nevada Region is a world-renowned destination for adventure and discovery. Recreational gems like Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and Mammoth Mountain draw visitors from around the world. Unfortunately, we don't always pack out what we pack in.

Sierra Nevada rivers, lakes, and streams are the source of drinking water for 23 million Californians. These waterways provide for activities as wild as river rafting or as relaxed as resting near a babbling stream. This year, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and dozens of local groups throughout the Sierra are asking for your help to keep these waterways clean.

Join us on Saturday, September 20, for the 6th annual Great Sierra River Cleanup and help keep your favorite Sierra spot trash-free. Thousands of volunteers will join together to remove items like tires, cigarette butts, appliances, baby diapers, and cans and bottles galore. And what you find this year could be even more interesting than ever before.

As we face drought conditions for the third year in a row, water levels are lower than ever. Volunteers will be granted a rare and possibly surprising look into the trash that has previously been submerged below the surface of our waterways. So bring your little explorers, your treasure hunters, and your adventurers, and make a discovery of your own!

There is a job for everyone—whether you want to work at the registration table, pick up litter along the waterline, snorkel for underwater trash, wrestle with larger items, or help out loading a dumpster.

Over the last five years, more than 19,000 volunteers have collectively removed nearly 600 tons of trash from the rivers, lakes, and streams of the Sierra Nevada. While the primary goal is to collect trash, the event also serves as an opportunity to promote stewardship of the waterways that provide more than 60 percent of California's developed water supply.

To find a cleanup, visit the Sierra Nevada Conservancy's web site at and check out our cleanup map on the Great Sierra River Cleanup page. Pick an area, register with the coordinating group, and head out on September 20 to help us clean up our streams, rivers, and lakes. Also, visit our Facebook page for pictures, information, updates, and more. We'll see you on the river!

When: Saturday, September 20, 2014, from 9 AM to noon

Where: Pick your favorite cleanup site and register in advance—visit and go the Great Sierra River Cleanup page for more info.

What to bring: Closed-toed shoes, appropriate clothing, hat, sunscreen, water, gloves, and a bucket or reusable bag

Who to bring: Everyone is welcome!

The Great Sierra River Cleanup is a volunteer event coordinated by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and held in conjunction with California Coastal Cleanup Day. Together these two events form the largest one-day volunteer event in California, and serve to promote healthy waterways from the source to the sea.!


Earth Day April 22

Celebrate Earth Day (April 22) with free admission at any of the nearly 400 national parks. Park admission fees are being waived April 22-26 for the annual observance of National Park Week.

The annual celebration date of April 22 was chosen to help commemorate the birth of famed naturalist and conservationist John Muir, who was born on April 21, 1838. Earth Day was conceived after a Senator's trip in 1969 to Santa Barbara following the devastating oil spill off the Southern California coast.  Learn more here>

The California State Parks Foundation also seeks volunteers to help clean up and restore dozens of state parks throughout California on Saturday, April 13. Learn more here>

California Coastal Cleanup Day

Every year, on the third Saturday in September, people join together at sites all over California to take part in the State's largest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day.

Families, friends, coworkers, scout troops, school groups, service clubs, and individuals come together to celebrate and share their appreciation of California's fabulous coast and waterways. The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, which is the largest volunteer event on the planet!

America Recycles Day November 15

Summer is all about fun in the sun, with family and friends. If attending a family picnic or planning a day at the beach, be sure to recycle those cans and bottles. Nothing can be more daunting to would-be recyclers than trying to figure out what can be recycled, when, where and how.

Host an event to help raise recycling awareness or show your support by simply showing up for an event that your community organizers have arranged. Simply visit and click the “Join An Event” tab near the top of the page. Based on your zip code, you can find out about events scheduled in your community.