We Cleaned 22-Miles of our Scenic Clackamas River

Contributed by Matt Taylor with We Love Clean Rivers

Thanks to all of the kayakers, canoers, drift boaters, rowers, SUP’ers, divers (SCUBA and free), cookout volunteers, and dedicated sponsors and partners for making Down the River Mini Cleanups very successful. With over 50 participants over four days, we cleaned up the remaining visible litter found on the lower 22 miles of the Clackamas, and made a dent in the micro trash (the hard stuff!) and bottom litter. 

The Mini Cleanups Were Fun and Productive

After the wildfire outbreak at McIver park less than 48 hours before the start of the 2022 Down the River Cleanup, it was clear we needed to cancel the event. We also knew we wanted to still get the cleanup done before the fall rains pulled all of the shoreline trash into the water, further entangling it in our otherwise pristine river.

We quickly organized four mini cleanups to give the 22 miles of the Lower Clackamas a full sweep. They occurred in the following fashion:

  • Friday, Sept. 16 – Riverside to Clackamette (3.2 miles) 9am-Noon
  • Wednesday, Sept. 21 – Carver to Riverside (4.8 miles) 9am-1pm
  • Friday, Sept. 23 – McIver (Upper launch) to Barton (8.6 miles) the 8am-2pm
  • Saturday, Sept. 24 – Barton to Carver (5.3 miles) 8am-12:30

And we finished the last mini cleanup with a delicious and low-key cookout (thank you again to Kieran and Josie Cannistra for cooking!).

DIY Cleanups and Stash the Trash

First impression is that there was not a lot of litter on the river by past cleanup standards. We attribute this to a refocus of the River Ambassador initiative to recruit and support volunteers to do DIY cleanups (some have been doing this for years, thank you!), stock popular and additional Stash the Trash bag stations, and in general model direct action and stewardship for the larger floating public. 

Thank you again to this summer’s River Ambassadors and DIY Cleanup leaders: Tina, Erin, Margarita, Paul, Michael, Jonny, Steve, Tim, Chris, Bill, Sean, and others who paddled, plucked, dove, restocked (and restocked) Stash the Trash bags, and served the river and rest of us in a very direct way. 

Trash was hauled away and signs are the river is staying cleaner than other summers in recent memory.

Photos from the 2022 Down the River Mini Cleanups:

Thank you to our Event Sponsors an Partners:


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