Fresno State’s Smittcamp Family Honors College is partnering with Rivertree Volunteers for the annual Great Sierra River Cleanup from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept.15-16.
Volunteers will clean a portion of the San Joaquin River between the Highway 99 bridge and Skaggs Bridge County Park, north of Fresno. The Fresno State students are in a political science class taught by Dr. Mark Somma. that annually spearheads student involvement in the project.
Last year, 128 student volunteers helped remove 14 tons of debris and more than 250 tires from the river in two days. This year’s team hopes to exceed those totals by recruiting more volunteers, said Megan Ginise, a freshman mass communication and journalism major from Firebaugh.
The river event has been a part of the Fresno community for over a decade in conjunction with the California Coastal Commission Cleanup, Fresno State, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, Boy Scouts, Rivertree Volunteers, Fresno State Army ROTC and Kiwanis Circle K.
The San Joaquin runs 333 miles from the Sierra to the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta – California’s second longest river – and provides drinking water, crop irrigation, power and fishing and other recreational activities.
“The river cleanup helps to improve water quality by reducing pollution in the water and on the shore, as well as making the river a safer place for the wildlife and the people who swim, play and fish in it every day,” Ginise said.
“It’s a great community service event that runs deep in the hearts of all Valley residents who share the San Joaquin River;” she added. “It’s a great uniting marker that can help teach the young and the old the importance of the river and the environment that we call home.”
Volunteers of all ages are welcome. They must complete a permission slip and a liability waiver, which will be available on site or by phone call. Appropriate attire is mandatory – close-toed shoes, pants and other suitable clothing to prevent injury. Volunteers are encouraged to wear sun screen.
Snacks, gloves, trash bags and canoes will be provided as will a list of other on-shore cleanup projects.
Volunteers will meet at the Starbucks cafe at Herndon Avenue and Golden State Boulevard at 8:30 a.m. each day for directions to project sites.
For more information, contact Richard Sloan at 559.696.2971 or email@example.com
(Copy prepared by University Communications news student assistant Alejandra Garcia.)