SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento Kings, Caltrans and more than 35 volunteers joined forces in a waterfront litter cleanup today at Robert T. Matsui Park along the Sacramento River.
The cleanup event highlighted how trash and debris pollute Sacramento waterways, including through stormwater flows, and encouraged community members to join the Clean California campaign to keep lakes, rivers and streams clean.
“Sacramento is known as the River City, and residents and tourists love to visit and enjoy our rivers,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “But these fragile waterways and public spaces need to be protected, so everyone needs to work together to keep our waters clean and litter-free.”
During the event, volunteers from the Sacramento Kings and Sacramento Picks It Up! collected more than 500 pounds of trash. The items collected included things such as broken glass, cigarettes, plastic bottles and cans.
“I’m thankful to the volunteers who picked up litter today and continue to partner with us to transform and maintain these beautiful open spaces,” said Sacramento Vice Mayor Eric Guerra. “We are stronger together!”
The recent storms have put a spotlight on the threat of stormwater pollution in the Sacramento region and the state. Stormwater can pick up a variety of pollutants, including trash, litter, and bacteria, flushing it down storm drains that flow to local lakes, rivers and streams.
Caltrans said simple actions such as properly disposing of trash, picking up after pets, and regularly maintaining and cleaning vehicles can help stop pollution at the source and make a big impact on the quality of waterways and the health and wellbeing of communities.
The city of Sacramento received a $3.2 million grant in 2022 to upgrade and beautify Robert T. Matsui Park and the surrounding underserved neighborhood as part of Clean California, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s sweeping $1.2 billion, multiyear cleanup and beautification effort being implemented by Caltrans. Last month, Gov. Newsom announced a new funding round for $100 million in grants for local Clean California projects.
Since launching Clean California in July 2021, Caltrans has removed nearly 1.4 million cubic yards of litter from state highways – the equivalent of more than 23,000 tons or enough trash to fill more than 420 Olympic-size swimming pools – and hired more than 830 new team members as part of Clean California.
From March 17 to March 27, Caltrans will host Clean California Community Days throughout the state. To participate in a local cleanup event, go to CleanCA.com.
About the campaign:
The Caltrans Stormwater Public Education Campaign, “Let’s Change This to That,” is a three-year public education campaign led by Caltrans, which aims to raise awareness and increase understanding of the sources and pathways of stormwater pollution across California. The campaign provides resources for those who live, work, and play in California’s unique communities to spur behavior change in a way that leads to improved water quality. The campaign complements Clean California, a three-year, statewide litter reduction and beatification program. For more information, visit CleanWaterCA.com.