The River and Road Cleanup by Andy Wise

The River and Road Cleanup has been a big success over the last 27 years, founded and run by the Valley Woman’s Club of San Lorenzo Valley, they will be heading into their 28th annual Cleanup on this September 20th, a Saturday to remember, they will also offer a free pass into the Ben Lomond Dump. The event and cleanup will occur from 9 am until 3 pm on that Saturday, rain or shine. You can meet in Felton at Covered Bridge Park, in Lompico at 10734 Lompico Rd, Ben Lomond at the corner of Fillmore Street and Highway 9, or in Boulder Creek at the SLV Redemption Center and Recycling (behind Village Wash and Dry).

You will be surprised at some of the trash and waste pulled off and out of our rivers and roads during this mere six hour time period. In past years anything from cigarette butts to trash and soda cans. In 2013 there was a total of 8,742 pounds of trash cleaned and picked up throughout the day, with a total of 3,397 cigarette butts picked up. Cigarette butts leak toxic chemicals, from the filter, into the rivers and streams, causing the aquatic ecosystem to be poisoned.

“We know that a lot of the material that ends up on the beaches comes from inland. By cleaning up the San Lorenzo River and nearby roads we’re able to make things healthier in the SLV while reducing debris that ultimately makes it’s way into the Monterey Bay” said David Wright, the Director of SLV Redemption & Recycling.

By doing this annual cleanup we can prevent, and clean up the litter and waste thrown onto our roads and into our rivers daily, which eventually opens out into the Bay, causing harm to sea life and plants. With this process occurring every September, we can stop all of this awful trash from being washed away into our oceans and beaches. This runoff is killing animals and sea life that we see almost every single day. Runoff can affect any and most animals from seagulls to fish and to sea otters. This runoff can both kill and injure animals that we see in our everyday lives.

Participants may arrive anywhere from nine am, at a designated spot, until three in the evening. You can meet a load of great new people during this wonderful event. Last year there was a total of 151 volunteers and we hope to top that number this year.

If this trends continues, then this year will be a huge success and a ton of fun!

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