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Mary - creator of the Flip Flop Award

River Ambassadors Hard at Work Stewarding the Clackamas Water Trail

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Cleanup Tally so far from River Ambassadors on the Clackamas Water Trail

Thanks again to our regular River Ambassadors who have done a fantastic job keeping Stash the Trash Bag stations stocked, modeling great stewardship and safe recreation, and continuing to clean up after our fellow citizens. 
Below is a tally covering 15 documented cleanups since April 19, 2023.

River Ambassador Spring & Summer Mini-Cleanup Tally

April 19 – August 16, 2023

Clackamas Water Trail, Oregon

Estimates (rough averages) : flipflops/foot wear =.5 lbs; can bags and floaties = 5 lbs; trash bags = 10 lbs)

Other abandoned shoeware
Bags of recyclable cans/bottles Floaties Trash bags
(Stash the Trash or SOLVE)
Pounds Total
  76 39.5 24 34 695.5
Starting this Spring, over a dozen volunteers have done on a series of mini-cleanups of various sections of the Clackamas Water Trail (there are technically five – see the Clackamas Water Trail website for more information – but some River Ambassadors cover multiple sections on a sweep). They stock Stash the Trash Bag stations (created and supplied by the Clackamas River Basin Council), pick up left-over bags from remote stations (there are a half dozen stations on popular beaches and only reacheable by water), and enjoy the splendor of a clean and healthy wild Clackamas river. 
Sometimes they haul over a hundred pounds of junk, especially if some kind of metal trash emerges from the winter flows or a vinyl floaty is full of water (we have to knive them open and drain, but some water remains when we dump and they are heavy).
In the summer, however, there is a clear pattern of litter such as flip flops, cans & plastic bottles, food packaging and other picnic trash, and the dreaded vinyl floaties (they would be fine if made from more durable materials). Hence the main categories in the tally. 
This does not capture the much larger amount of trash collected by the thousands of people visiting the Clackamas each week, assisted by their own thoughtfulness (no glass bottles!; Pack it in Pack it out; Leave No Trace), well-stocked Stash the Trash Bag stations in the parks; and additional trash cans, dumpsters, and professional sweeps of parking lots and launches at our amazing local riverside parks during peak months. Plus, we have learned over the years that numerous groups organize their own private cleanups along with annual floats with friends and families. One group has been doing this for 30 years!
Thanks again to all who make the Clackamas the most beautiful urban and rural river in America.
Interested in becoming a River Ambassador and experiencing the thrill of the amazing Clackamas Water Trail and finding trash and treasures? Email Matt Taylor ( and we can get started!

Check out some recent River Ambassador highlights