If you have ever visited the city of San Diego in California, then you may have been lucky enough to cast your eye over what locals like to call as the “emerald ribbon.” The San Diego River stretches 52 miles around southern California and plays home to plenty of different species of birds and animals. It’s a majestic river, but unfortunately recently it’s become known for more than the hundreds of different birds and animals – trash.
Massive Amounts Of Trash
Unfortunately, in recent times, the San Diego River has become practically overrun with garbage. Some of it is blown into the river by the wind, some of it is storm debris, and the rest is just from careless people who aren’t thinking about the wildlife that calls this river it’s home. In fact, a lot of the trash comes from people tossing it out of their car windows as they drive past, resulting in massive amounts of garbage building up along the riverbank. This is putting the lives of the animals and birds in danger, but some people want to change all that.
The San Diego River Park Foundation
Luckily, there are thousands of volunteers who all have the same mission – to clear up the river! The San Diego River Park Foundation (SDRPF) has been working tirelessly to keep the emerald ribbon trash-free, and in 2018 they had over 2,000 people getting involved. Scouts go ahead and check for garbage before more volunteers come along and fill up the trash bags. Ally Wellborn, the Community Engagement Manager for SDRPF explains that there are volunteers on the San Diego River at least four times a week.
Cleaning Up The River
At one point, Wellborn explains that there was so much trash in the river that volunteers were getting hip-deep into the water, just to clear it out. However, while that area of the river is now nearly completely free of trash, the battle is never-ending. There are 52 miles of water and riverbank that need to be cleaned, and the SDRPF needs all the help it can get. Luckily, getting involved doesn’t always mean getting dirty. All of the equipment that the volunteers use, such as trash bags and gloves, also come from generous donors.
The work of the San Diego River Park Foundation is vital to preserving the emerald ribbon. Will you be getting involved?