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Down the River Mini Cleanups a Great Success! Thanks to All

We are still tallying the haul from the recent minicleanups, but check out the visual report as a start.

Barton to Carver
No vinyl pool toys!
McIver to Barton
Hopefully one of the last tire walls on the river.
Riverside to Clackamette
Aside from a piece of plywood, not a huge haul.
Carver to Riverside
One of the largest popped vinyl tube mattresses.
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ANd check out some great underwater footage of the one cleanup done on September 11!

Quick summary

Thanks to all of the kayakers, canoers, drift boaters, rowers, SUP’ers, divers (SCUBA and free), cookout volunteers, and dedicated sponsors and partners for making Down the RIver Mini Cleanups very successful. With over 50 participants over four days, we cleaned up the remaining visible litter found on the lower 22 miles of the Clackamas, and made a small dent in the micro trash (the hard stuff!) and bottom litter. 

Mini Cleanups Were fun and productive!

After the wildfire outbreak at McIver park less than 48 hours before the start of the 2022 Down the River Cleanup, it was clear we needed to cancel the event. We also knew we wanted to still get the cleanup done before the fall rains pulled all of the shoreline trash into the water, further entangling it in our otherwise pristine river.

We quickly organized four minicleanups to give the 22 miles of the Lower Clackamas a full sweep. They occured in the following fashion:

  • Friday, Sept. 16 – Riverside to Clackamette (3.2 miles) 9am-Noon
  • Wednesday, Sept. 21 – Carver to Riverside (4.8 miles) 9am-1pm
  • Friday, Sept. 23 – McIver (Upper launch) to Barton (8.6 miles) the 8am-2pm
  • Saturday, Sept. 24 – Barton to Carver (5.3 miles) 8am-12:30

And we finished the last mini cleanup with a delicious and low-key cookout (thank you again to Kieran and Josie Cannistra for cooking!).

DIY Cleanups and Stash the Trash Bags – Direct action that works

First impression is that there was not a lot of litter on the river by past cleanup standards. We attribute this to a refocus of the River Ambassador initiative to recruit and support volunteers to do DIY cleanups (some have been doing this for years, thank you!), stock popular and additional Stash the Trash bag stations, and in general model direct action and stewardship for the larger floating public. 

Thank you again to this summer’s River Ambassadors and DIY Cleanup leaders: Tina, Erin, Margarita, Paul, Michael, Jonny, Steve, Tim, Chris, Bill, Sean, and others who paddled, plucked, dove, restocked (and restocked) Stash the Trash bags, and served the river and rest of us in a very direct way. 

TRASH WAS HAULED AWAY AND SIGNS ARE THE RIVER IS STAYING CLEANER THAN OTHER SUMMERS IN RECENT MEMORY. 

Matt Taylor

Lifelong river rat.