The Orion

Rafters gather river booty after Labor Day

Gary Nelson

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Lindsay Pincus Adventure Outings going onto the Sacramento River to clean up after the float.

Lindsay Pincus
Adventure Outings going onto the Sacramento River to clean up after the float.

Seventeen volunteers paddled down the Sacramento River last weekend to clean up debris left by the 3,000 people who participated in the Labor Day float.

The cleanup crew was composed of volunteers from Adventure Outings, Associated Students Recycling and Associated Students Sustainability.

“When there was 10,000 or more people on the river, you could literally walk tube to tube all the way down,” said Nicholas Delaney, a biology graduate student, referring to past years. “There was a lot of people and a lot of garbage.”

However, due to the alcohol ban on the river which was put in place this year, the general expectation beforehand was that the quantity of debris would be much lower than the past couple years.

“In 2011, we collected just over 1,000 pounds of materials,” said Eli Goodsell, A.S. Sustainability Coordinator. “Last year, in 2012, we collected just under 1,000 pounds, but that was also due to a little bit higher river levels.”

The crew took off on two large rafts to carry the garbage and seven smaller inflatable kayaks to track down the trash in tighter spaces closer to shore. They were able to accumulate approximately 300 pounds worth of debris – less than one-third of the amount collected the last couple years.

“You don’t just find garbage, but last year a girl found a GoPro, we’ve found pocket knives, clothes, unopened sodas and sunglasses,” Delaney said. “There’s a lot of river treasure to be found — river booty.”

After the volunteers were done scouring the “river booty,” they followed it up with some pizza donated by the Mangrove Round Table Pizza.

Stacy Canada, a recreation administration graduate student, said floaters should pack trash bags in their rafts.

“Just be courteous to the river, and think about whatever you bring out here, know it’s gotta go somewhere,” Canada said.

 

The reporter can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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Rafters gather river booty after Labor Day