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Sonoma County Gazette
Trash Collection on the Beach

Watershed and Coastal Cleanups 2017

Aug 29, 2017


Leading the Way

For decades Sonoma County has led the way in the creation of open spaces and stewardship of the natural beauty and resources we all depend upon for recreation and survival.

From the campaign in the 1980s to keep a nuclear power plant off of Bodega Head to the movement to create permanent and undeveloped landscapes through Urban Growth Boundaries and Green Belts, residents and politicians have gone above and beyond the call to protect important natural resources.

Likewise with our watersheds, from inland creeks to the ocean, the volunteer spirit of Sonoma County’s citizens has played a vital role in working to reverse damage done by decades of unthinking misuse.

In recent years, the importance of stopping the pollution of our oceans at the source — our inland waterways — has taken hold and several local organizations and nonprofits have stepped up to clear garbage and worse from creeks, rivers and beaches that would otherwise make its way to the ocean and pollute both the water and the food chain.

And recent work to help clean up homeless encampments has upped the game with several nonprofits working hand-in-hand with county and state officials to affect change on a much larger scale.

Cleanup HEROES Chris Brokate and Keary SorensonThe names of these organizations and the people behind them have become part of the public conversation and social fabric. Nonprofits like the Clean River Alliance, the brainchild of Green Janitor Chris Brokate, have even stepped up to help create a dialog, ease tensions and mitigate the damage done by homeless residents living throughout the Lower River Area.

And, of course, longtime, venerated organizations such as Russian Riverkeeper, Coastwalk and the Surfrider Foundation keep working to clean up the coast and educate residents, while inland theLaguna FoundationFriends of the Petaluma River and even the City of Santa Rosa, with its efforts to clean up Prince Memorial Greenway along Santa Rosa Creek, have become involved.

In that spirit, Sonoma County Gazette offers this overview of local cleanup opportunities and this year’s intersection of International Coastal Clean Up Day and the Russian River Watershed Cleanup, taking place on a beach or waterway near you onSaturday, Sept. 16.

So grab your Wellies and a pair of gloves and sign up to volunteer today.

Sept. 16 Events

International Coastal Cleanup Day 2017

California Coastal Cleanup Day is the state’s largest annual volunteer event. The 33rd annual beach and inland waterway cleanup takes place on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 from 9:00am-noon.

Join the Sonoma County Cleanup at one of 12 locations. Post-cleanup snacks will be provided at Bodega Dunes Campground from 12-2pm.

Sonoma County residents may register online for a coastal cleanup site (listed below) at www.coastwalk.orgJo McCormick is the Sonoma County Coordinator at Coastwalk California and can be reached at 707-829-6689, or by email at

Sonoma County cleanup sites:

• Doran Regional Park, Bodega Bay

• Blind Beach, Jenner

• Bodega Dunes, Bodega Bay

• Bodega Head, Bodega Bay

• Goat Rock Beach, Jenner

• North Jenner Beach aka Driftwood Beach

• Portuguese Beach, Bodega Bay

• Shell Beach, Bodega Bay

• South Salmon Creek, Bodega Bay

• Wrights Beach, Bodega Bay

• North Salmon Creek, Bodega Bay

Russian River Watershed Cleanup

Help get the trash out of the Russian River on Saturday, Sept. 16. There are a number of locations from Monte Rio north and signups are set up for the amount of trash at each location. If your local beach is already full, that means another beach upstream may need more help. To sign up, go to

For information regarding any of the following events, contact Bob Legge at 707-433-1958, or, or go to

Cloverdale Area ~ 8:30 am - 1 pm

Cleanup Locations: Clov erdale Regional Park and Trail, Crocker Bridge/River Park, Geysers Road to Mendocino County line.

Healdsburg Area ~ 8:30 am - 1 pm

Cleanup Locations: Riverfront Regional Park, Kennedy Lane to Highway 101, Syar Plant Beach, Badger Park, West Soda Rock Road, Alexander Valley Campground Beach, Geyserville Highway 128 Bridge Beach. South Healdsburg Park & Ride. Take the Old Redwood Highway exit south of Healdsburg. Lot is just north of the exit.

Guerneville/Monte Rio ~ 8:30 am-1 pm

Cleanup Locations: Steelhead Beach Regional Park, Moms Beach Regional Park, Sunset Beach Regional Park, Rio Nido Beaches, Johnson’s Beach area, Vacation Beach area, Monte Rio Beach area. Meet at Johnson’s Beach Resort, from Highway 116, turn south on Church Street.

Canoe-Based River Cleanups ~ 8:30 am-TBD

Canoe routes are not for beginners due to the difficulty of canoeing with 100-plus pounds of garbage and two people. Transportation is available at the end of the canoe runs back to cars.

The Great Laguna Cleanup
(Part of Coastal Cleanup Day) ~ Sept. 16, 9 am - noon

The Laguna Stewards volunteer program kicks off the 2017-2018 season with the Great Laguna Cleanup in the Sebastopol Laguna Wetlands Preserve. Join us as we collect and remove trash from banks of the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

Help prevent trash from washing downstream into the Laguna, the Russian River and eventually in to the Pacific Ocean. We have also embarked on new restoration and enhancement project in the Preserve, so there will be many ways you can help the Laguna at this event. Meet at the Americorps Trailhead on Morris Street, near the intersection of Laguna Parkway and Morris Street. Park along Morris Street and at the nearby Sebastopol Community Center. We provide tools, supplies and snacks. For more information, contactBrent Reed, Restoration Projects Manager at 707-527-9277 ext. 101, or

Fall Petaluma River Cleanup ~ Sept. 16, 9 am - 1 pm

David Yearsley River Heritage Center, Steamer Landing Park, Petaluma. Help Conserve the Petaluma River, protect habitat and improve water quality at the Fall Petaluma River Cleanup. Gather at the Petaluma Marina and help remove trash and debris from 14 waterways in our watershed. Volunteers will enjoy snacks, a barbecue lunch and plenty of refreshment. We’ll outfit you with all the supplies you need to get out there and help keep our River clean. Bring water bottle, hat, shoes that can get muddy, excitement and willingness to get your hands dirty in stewardship to the Petaluma Watershed. For more information about Friends of the Petaluma River please call 707-763-7756, email, or go to

Prince Memorial Greenway cleanup in Santa Rosa ~ Sept. 16, 9:30 am-noon

Location: Olive Park footbridge, near 1698 Hazel Street. On-street parking.

About 80 percent of the debris found on our beaches actually starts as urban trash or street litter. Join us Saturday, at the Prince Memorial Greenway on the Olive Park Footbridge near 1698 Hazel St. to help clear out debris. Gloves, tools and snacks provided. All ages welcome. For more information, contact

Creek Cleanup hosted by Sonoma Ecology Center

Sonoma Ecology Center will be hosting 2017 cleanup efforts for the Sonoma Valley area at the four sites listed below. This event is Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers should wear comfortable and/or waterproof shoes and layered clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. Bring work gloves if you have them, any plastic bags you have lying around, and your own water and water bottle.

To help us prepare, interested volunteers are asked to pre-register at

Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult. Se habla Espanol.


Other Cleanups

Trash ArtSalmon Creek Beach Cleanup ~ Sept. 2, 10 am-1 pm

Join Keary and Sally Sorenson on Saturday, Sept. 2 for cleanup efforts at Salmon Creek Beach. Meet at the Dunes entrance of Salmon Creek State Beach from 10-1p. Call Keary Sorenson at 415-806-8764 orChris Brokate at 707-322-8304 for more information or to talk trash, or go to Salmon Beach cleanups with theClean River Alliance take place the first Saturday of each month, year-round.

Sonoma Coast Surfrider Beach Cleanup ~ Sept. 4, 11 am-2 pm (Labor Day)

Help remove marine debris and garbage from the beach. Every piece removed saves coastal and ocean wildlife. Cleanup will occur between 11-2p at North Salmon Creek Beach. Look for the Surfrider canopy in the North Salmon Creek Parking lot. Salmon Creek beach is a NO DOG beach due to snowy plover habitat. Bring a bucket if you can, some work gloves, and dress appropriately as the weather is unpredictable — closed-toe shoes and a windbreaker is always a smart choice.

Also bring a reusable water bottle. We supply latex gloves, pick-up sticks and buckets. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Cea Higgens at

Ongoing Programs

Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods stewardship programs

Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods is involved in many stewardship projects. The Willow Creek Watershed Restoration Project was a multi-million dollar project. Stewards acted as the fiscal agent for over $1 million in restoration efforts in the watershed, which resulted in the return of coho to the watershed after 10 years of work by many agency, private enterprise and nonprofit partners.

We encourage new volunteers entering one of the Stewardship Programs to attend one of the three general orientations for new or returning volunteers and education seminars that cover their areas of interest.

Opportunities include:

• Armstrong/Austin Creek Trail Crew

• Sonoma Coast Trail Crew

• Earth Day Cleanup

• Fife Creek Restoration

• Willow Creek Restoration

For more information, contact Sarah Angulo via email or phone at 707-869-9177 ext 5.

Prince Memorial Greenway ~ 10 am - Noon

Meet at Olive Park on the first Saturday of every month and help take care of restored Santa Rosa Creek flowing through the heart of downtown. The Greenway provides a home for river otter, kingfishers, egrets, and steelhead trout as well as parks, public art, and recreation along the six-mile creek trail. Clean-up supplies provided. (ages 5 to adult)

Park-A-Month Volunteer Program  ~ 9 am - Noon, rain or shine.

2nd Saturday of the month from March to October. Discover a new park every month. The Park-A-Month Volunteer Program offers fun, family-friendly events where residents can make a difference in their parks. This month’s project takes place at Rae Park, 715 Rae St., Santa Rosa on Sept. 9. Sign up online.

Laguna Stewardship Days~ 9 am - Noon

Sept. – May. Volunteers assist in willow sprigging, exotic plant removal, native plant and tree planting, trails construction and maintenance, and restoration project monitoring. Little or no experience or knowledge is needed, training is provided. Only heavy rain cancels. Snacks are on us, but do bring gloves, water, and a friend! No RSVP required. For locations and more information contact Brent Reed, Restoration Projects Manager 707-527-9277 x.101

Guerneville, Monday ~ 4 – 6 pm

Help clean up Riverkeeper Park, The footbridge and downtown Guerneville, gloves, pickers and brooms will be there. For more info, call Chris at 707-322-8304.


The Coastal Commission runs a year-round cleanup program called Adopt-A-Beach®. Help us keep the California coast debris-free all year long. Go to information.

School Yard Clean Up

Want your students to participate in Coastal Cleanup Day but can’t get them out on a field trip to a beach or local waterway? Want to show them that environmentally responsible behavior can begin at their school and in their own neighborhood? You can organize a Schoolyard Cleanup and accomplish all of these goals. Go to for information.

Sonoma Coast Surfrider Marine Debris Training

Join Sonoma Coast Surfrider at North Salmon Creek Beach for a 1-hour Marine Debris Training. This is a unique opportunity to learn about tracking, removing debris and safety protocols for the Sonoma Coast. After attending the training, you will receive cleanup supplies and be able to organize individual cleanups at your favorite beach. In addition, you will be added to the email list for emergency cleanups. If you are interested in scheduling training, email Volunteer Coordinator Cea Higgens at


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