National River Cleanup Day 2016: 25th annual event a success!

That’s a wrap! The Santa Clara Valley Water District, in collaboration with the Creek Connections Action Group, completed another successful cleanup on Saturday, May 21, 2016. Over 48 cleanup sites took place in Santa Clara County for the 25th Annual National River Cleanup Day (NRCD).

From Palo Alto to Gilroy, the 48 cleanup sites brought in 1,124 volunteers, who cleaned 61.25 miles of creek and shoreline, and removing approximately 30,627 lbs. of trash (not including 3,135 lbs. recyclables).

Volunteers, big and small, came out to lend a hand and removed litter that was floating about in our creeks and rivers. There was great participation from the community, of which included groups such as:

  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Girl Scouts
  • Cub Scouts
  • Fairmont Hotels
  • South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition
  • Green Town Los Altos
  • Jewish Community Relations Council
  • Google
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Acterra
  • W.G. Fritz Construction, Inc.
  • Guadalupe River Park Conservancy
  • Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful
  • San Tomas West Neighborhood Association
  • Blackford Elementary School
  • Santa Clara University
  • Rotary Club of San Jose
  • De Mattei Construction
  • Forest Hill Elementary
  • City of Santa Clara
  • City of Sunnyvale
  • City of San Jose
  • Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
  • City of Palo Alto
  • City of Mountain View
  • City of Milpitas
  • City of Morgan Hill
  • City of Gilroy
  • City of Cupertino
  • Santa Clara Valley Water District
  • residents of Santa Clara County

During a creek cleanup, you never know what you are going to find and this cleanup was no exception. Sure there will be cigarette butts a plenty, especially since cigarette butts account for 39% of every debris item picked up during a cleanup day, but along with those pesky butts were a range of other peculiar items. Items found this year included things like a very old TV, Pokemon trading cards, a golf club head, Captain America jersey, blown up safe, hubcap, garage door, baby doll, suitcase, entire set of dishes, rusty chair, Mickey Mouse head, Minnie Mouse doll, Dora the Explorer plush toy, PG&E Employee ID badge, SAT Study Guide, saw, Tupac cassette tapes, credit card, printer, iPad case, teddy bear, Super Soaker, “Rocky” VHS movie, glass Gatorade bottle, big wooden door, Monopoly game piece, “Recycle Here” sign, refrigerator door, ceramic pumpkin, plastic tiara, old rat trap, umbrella stand, old beer cans, fire extinguisher, scooter, chess board, laundry basket, shopping carts, and a lot of fishing line.

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If you missed out on this year’s National River Cleanup Day, don’t be sad, we have Coastal Cleanup Day coming up right around the corner on Saturday, September 17. So mark your calendars, and get ready to roll up your sleeves once again. Bring a friend, bring a neighbor, we hope to see you all there!

For more information on future cleanups, visit

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