Keep Updated
Find events and articles on a wide range of topics
Stewardship header
Page Title
News & Events
Back to top

WANTED: Litter on the loose!

May 11, 2015

NRCD Poster

SAN JOSE —Saturday, May 16, is National River Cleanup Day and volunteers are needed. We have over 40 sites to clean up in Santa Clara County and we need your help.

Plastic bottles and bags, fast food packaging, cigarette butts and other litter along Santa Clara County’s waterways is not only awful to look at, but affects local creeks and streams as well. If and when it does rain, this litter is swept off the roadways and into storm drains that flow directly to local waterways, posing a threat to both the local habitat and water quality. Also, when the accumulation of litter is paired with natural occurrences, such as broken tree limbs and erosion along creeks and streams, debris can impair the flow of water, increasing flood risks.

“We appreciate the numerous volunteers and coordinators who help us make a difference each year on National River Cleanup Day,” said Santa Clara Valley Water District Chief Operating Officer for Watersheds, Norma Camacho. “These volunteer efforts, coupled with the district’s ongoing efforts, make for a positive impact on our local waterways and environment.”

Each year the water district partners with Creek Connections Action Group, a consortium of five public agencies and non-profit organizations in Santa Clara County, to host cleanup sites for National River Cleanup Day. Santa Clara Valley Water District coordinates site selection, volunteer recruitment and marketing efforts.

Last year, more than 1,176 volunteers at 51 sites across the county cleaned up more than 62 miles of waterways and picked up more than 4,247 pounds of recyclables and 28,812 pounds of trash – including 65 spray paint cans, a car door, numerous shopping carts, 100 small empty jewelry boxes, 3 fire extinguishers, coconuts, a car bumper, balls, a karaoke machine, a gas BBQ, traffic cones, Christmas lights, a bath tub, a rubber snake, a couch, tires, a propane tank, a cash register and a G.I. Joe doll.

For cleanup day, wear long pants, sturdy shoes and don't forget the sunscreen. Clean-up supplies and light refreshments will be provided. Volunteers will need to bring their own pick-up sticks and all youth under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult.

For a list of cleanup locations, registration information and more details about National River Cleanup Day, visit

Valley Water manages an integrated water resources system that includes the supply of clean, safe water, flood protection and stewardship of streams on behalf of Santa Clara County's 2 million residents. The district effectively manages 10 dams and surface water reservoirs, three water treatment plants, an advanced recycled water purification center, a state-of-the-art water quality laboratory, nearly 285 acres of groundwater recharge ponds and more than 294 miles of streams. We provide wholesale water and groundwater management services to local municipalities and private water retailers who deliver drinking water directly to homes and businesses in Santa Clara County.