Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Kayaking Cleanup Brigade to Combat LA River Trash
LA River Expeditions, a leading force in promoting river-based recreational boating and environmental education for the Los Angeles community, is expanding its river stewardship with a new volunteer-based "Kayaking Cleanup Brigade (KCB)." A first-of-its-kind effort on the river, the cleanup crew will pluck and pull refuse and other garbage while in their kayaks as they scour the two Recreational Zones establishes over the last few years: the Sepulveda Basin and the Glendale Narrows.
Ever since LA River Expeditions has been involved with the first guided kayak outings on the river in 2011, the group's founder, George Wolfe, has noticed how much citizens have wanted to join in its restoration. "Not one of our kayak group outings goes by where we don't have people asking how they can help," he explains. "The Cleanup Brigade is now the answer to that question."
David Salper, a staff member who is managing the fledgling group, also sees how "people really want to make a difference, especially as they hear more about the river's improved prospects for revitalization. A lot of awesome folks come on our trips who are eager to roll up their sleeves and help out. As a city, we really need to galvanize that energy--volunteerism is a powerful tool. This will be good for the community, good for the wildlife and good for the environment in general."
LA River Expeditions' work is part of a broader effort for the LA River, which includes Mayor Eric Garcetti's focus on funding a revitalization plan, as well as the continued contributions of groups like Friends of the LA River (FoLAR) and Heal the Bay with their annual riverside cleanups. The KCB will continue their riparian stewardship program to the end of the 2014 kayaking season in the Sepulveda Basin (Sept. 14) and they anticipate expanding their role next year.
"The Los Angeles River was the life-source that attracted our city's first settlers," said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who's been a tenacious river steward for many years. "And bringing out river back to its beginnings is a critical part of moving LA forward. That progress takes work...to do our part to clean this river and encourage our fellow Angelenos to do the same."
For more information on how to join or support the Kayaking Cleanup Brigade, contact David Salper at: Volunteer@LARiverExpeditions.org; please put "KCB Support" in the subject heading.
George Wolf and the LA River Expeditions won the 2010 ACA National Green Paddle Award for Waterway Conservation. You can learn more about their great work at www.lariverexpeditions.org