Posted on Categories Local Organizations, WaterTags , ,

Volunteers needed to clean up Santa Rosa Creek

The all-volunteer Clean River Alliance, which has cleared hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash from the Russian River watershed over the past three years, is enlisting help for a monthlong blitz on Santa Rosa Creek.
Each Sunday in March the nonprofit group and associated volunteers plan to tackle a different stretch of the river tributary, where recent flooding has left garbage strewn in the trees and bushes, mixed in the water and scattered along the banks.
The alliance, founded by Forestville resident Chris Brokate and sponsored by the Russian Riverkeeper, is working in conjunction with the city of Santa Rosa to get as much trash as possible out of the watershed before it can become overgrown by summer foliage or be washed downstream by additional rain, spokeswoman Robin Factor said.
High school students can earn community service hours by participating, but all volunteers should keep in mind that conditions are often steep, muddy and slippery, and some lifting is required, Factor said.
The cleanups will run Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as follows:
March 12, Santa Rosa Creek at Willowside Road. Meet at the bridge.
March 19, Santa Rosa Creek near Stony Point Road. Meet at a Place to Play city park, 2375 W. Third St. in Santa Rosa, near the pond.
March 26, Santa Rosa Creek near Pierson Street, downtown Santa Rosa. Meet at a Place to Play.
Details are available on Facebook (Clean River Alliance) or by calling Robin Factor, Clean River Alliance Santa Rosa, at 707- 293-8050.
Source: Volunteers needed to clean up Santa Rosa Creek | The Press Democrat

Posted on Categories Sustainable Living, WaterTags , ,

Laguna de Santa Rosa now drains freely 

Imagine someone throwing old rubber tires, glass and plastic bottles, tennis balls, a television and a vehicle transmission into your bathtub. It probably wouldn’t drain very well, would it?
That’s a point local conservationists and Sonoma County officials drove home Thursday afternoon during an event that marked the end of a major garbage cleanup of an important local waterway.In this case, the bathtub is the Laguna de Santa Rosa and its “drain” is a key two-mile stretch of water that, over the years, has been choked off and obscured by wood debris, sediment, gravel and garbage.
Thanks to a multi-agency partnership and the hard work of at-risk youth, the waterway between Guerneville and River roads, one mile west of Olivet Road, is flowing freely again, feeding the Russian River and Pacific Ocean and attracting small fish and the unique birds eager to eat them.
“The most important part of a bathtub is the drain,” said 4th District Supervisor James Gore during the event that celebrated the end of a $50,000 cleanup. The eight-week effort was spearheaded by a number of organizations, including the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, the county Human Services Department and Social Advocates for Youth, or SAY.
It was funded by the Water Agency and the Occidental County Sanitation District as part of a settlement of fines levied against the water agency by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.
The money went to the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps, which contracted with SAY youth to do the work.“We found transmissions of cars, we found water heaters,” said Anthonie Vasquez, 19, who has been with SAY for two years. “This kind of work is really hard.”
Read more at: Laguna de Santa Rosa now drains freely | The Press Democrat

Posted on Categories Sustainable Living, Water, WildlifeTags , Leave a comment on Santa Rosa Creek Week September 20-28

Santa Rosa Creek Week September 20-28

Alastair Bliefuss, CITY OF SANTA ROSA
Hello Creek Stewards,
This Saturday, to start off Creek Week, will be the 30th annual Coast and Creek Cleanup Day, one of the largest volunteer events in the world. What started as clean ups of our beaches has now spread to many inland waterways. After all, our creeks eventually run to the sea and data collected over the years indicate that the majority of trash along the California coast travels there through our creeks and rivers.
I hope that you will be able to join us on one of two creek clean ups in Santa Rosa starting at 9:00 Saturday morning. Details are available at
The link also includes details of the creek walks occurring during Creek Week, as well as activities along the Prince Memorial Greenway during Family Fun Day on Saturday, September 27th.
Coast and Creek Cleanup volunteers use data cards to keep track of every single item of trash picked up. This data is slowly having an impact on how the State of California regulates trash. You can visit the California Coastal Commission’s webpage to learn more about the “trash species” such as:
seagullusSwirlitarius singularum AKA single-use plastic coffee stirrer, Poopbagus disgustimus AKA bag of dog poop, Cuttano yourfoota AKA the common glass bottle, and Inflammatory sparkatorius AKA cigarette lighter. (116,345 cigarette lighters have been collected during Coast and Creek Cleanup Day since 1989. Buoyant and colorful, these items are often mistaken for food by seabirds and then fed to their young.)
The 1½ miles of Matanzas and Spring Creeks that border Doyle Park have been one of Santa Rosa’s cleanup sites since 2006. In those 8 years volunteers have collected 2,148 pounds of recyclable materials and 1,600 pounds of trash (including 56 cigarette lighters!)
Take care of your creeks, take care of your ocean!

Posted on Categories Sustainable Living, Water, WildlifeTags , , Leave a comment on Annual Petaluma River fall trash cleanup September 20

Annual Petaluma River fall trash cleanup September 20

Saturday, September 20th 9am to noon
Join the Sonoma Resource Conservation District and the Friends of the Petaluma River in our Annual Petaluma River Fall Trash Cleanup starting in Downtown Historic Petaluma. The event coincides with the 30th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day, a national effort where thousands of participants gather locally to keep our coasts and inland waterways free of debris.
"Solving our water pollution problems requires everyone’s involvement" (California Coastal Commission, 2013). Our focus is to strengthen the ways in which we can help restore and protect the Petaluma River Watershed for years to come.
In 2012, Sonoma County COASTWEEKS combined cleanup’s collected approximately 10,487 pounds of garbage and 727 pounds of recyclables. The Petaluma River Cleanup in 2013, pulled a total of 1,010 pounds of trash and recyclables from the river and tributaries.
We hope to see you out on the river at this remarkable community event to enhance and protect our watershed!

9:00 a.m. – noon Trash Cleanup
Noon – 2 p.m. Enjoy food and browse informational tables from community partners
Meet at 260 H North Water Street Petaluma, CA.
For more information contact Christine at 707-569-1448 x114 or
Or, see News & Events | Sonoma Resource Conservation District.