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The Washington Kayak Club, Washington Recreational River Runners and Paddle Trail Canoe Club invite you to join us on April 4, 2020 to help clean up the Nisqually River once again. This is our third year of what we hope will be an annual event. As in past years, we are undertaking this cleanup with support from the Nisqually River Council and other partners, including American Whitewater, American Rivers and its National River Cleanup® Initiative, American Canoe Association, Thurston County Public Works, LeMay Pacific Disposal, City of Centralia, City of Yelm, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and the Nisqually Land Trust. This year, volunteers from the Nisqually Reach Nature Center, Paddle Trail Canoe Club and the Olympia Branch of the Mountaineers will help cleanup the river as it flows through the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

By undertaking this Event, we hope to (a) heighten awareness and appreciation of the Nisqually River; (b) celebrate the river's unique attributes; (c) foster stewardship of the river; and (d) promote the Nisqually River Water Trail Plan and Recommendations. To learn more about the Nisqually River Water Trail click here.

Where Will the Cleanup Be Held?

We will be primarily cleaning up two sections of the Nisqually River: 1) McKenna Park to Nisqually Park (aka Yelm Hydro Plant) - Class II-III - 9 miles; and 2) Nisqually Park to the 6th Avenue S.E. WDFW Water Access Site - Class I-II - 8 miles. There may be wood or other hazards on both sections of the river. If we are able to recruit sufficient volunteers we also plan to clean up the river as it flows through the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge as long as the weather and tides do not prevent our volunteers from safely navigating the Nisqually Delta & Reach.

You can view a map of each section of the Nisqually River prepared by the Nisqually River Council by clicking here: Map 1 Map 2 Map 3

What Volunteers are Needed and What Must I do to Join this Event?

We need volunteers to boat the river and to help on land at our water access sites.

All volunteers must register here, check-in on the day of the Event, and agree to a Waiver and Release of Liability to participate in this Event. This includes boaters who have signed up for a trip being sponsored by WKC, WRRR, PTCC or another club or organizatinb in conjunction with this Event and those helping out on land.

Minors are welcome, provided their parent or guardian sign their Waiver and Release of Liability and they are accompanied by and under the supervision of an adult. To ensure that is the case, we ask that the adult register first, create a team, and then invite the minors whom the adult will be supervising to register as part of his or her team. You can view the waiver forms by clicking here: Adult Waiver and Minor Waiver.

If more than one volunteer will be in a raft or other watercraft, they should register as a team (the first volunteer to register will create the team and invite the other volunteers to register as a member of the team).

Safety First!

We will take a moment to talk about safety before volunteers launch their watercraft or collect, haul, or sort garbage and recyclables. No volunteer should consume alcohol or drugs before or during this Event. Volunteers who wish to consume alcohol after this Event should only do so where it is legally permitted. No volunteer may participate in this Event under the influence of alcohol or drugs. During this Event, volunteers must comply with all local, state, and federal regulations. To view a copy of our Safety and Risk Management Plan click here.

What are the Other Requirements to Boat the River?

Volunteers who wish to boat the river must:

(a) check in with designated trip leaders before launching and after reaching the take-out;

(b) have the requisite skills to safely boat the river;

(c) be properly clothed for cold water immersion and be prepared to get wet, flip over, or go into the water;

(d) wear a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard approved lifejacket and, for those kayakers boating Class II and III sections of the river, a paddling helmet;

(e) bring their own suitable watercraft with appropriate flotation;

(f) boat as a group and not alone; and

(g) follow all safety instructions from trip leader, safety, and sweep boaters.

Boaters should choose the section of the river they want to clean up when registering, taking into account their skill level and the difficulty and hazards they are likely to encounter. Those boaters who are participating in this Event as members of WRRR, WKC or PTCC or another club or organization should follow the instructions of their Trip Leaders as to where and when to meet. Other boaters should plan to meet at the takeout for the section of the river they plan to boat, where we will organize shuttles to the launch site. Please arrive early enough so that you can check in, sign waivers, gear up and be ready to shuttle by 10:00 A.M. Remember to bring water, lunch and other food to get you through the day.

We Also Need Volunteers to Help on Land at Each Water Access Site

To make this Event a success, we need volunteers to help on land. Volunteers are needed at McKenna Park, Nisqually Park and at the 6th Avenue SE WDFW and Luhr Launch WDFW Water Access Sites.

We'll need help with event setup, registration and check-in, staffing first aid stations, hauling items we collect from boats to drop boxes at each of the take outs, sorting recyclables from garbage, photography and event cleanup. We will contact you the week prior to this Event and tell you where to meet and when.

All volunteers who plan to help at our water access sites should wear appropriate clothing, including sturdy shoes and bring rain gear and work gloves. We also suggest that you bring water, lunch and whatever other food you need to get through the day.

After Event Celebration and BBQ.

We will host a BBQ at McKenna Park from 3:00 to 5:30 P.M. for those volunteers who register in advance and indicate when they register that they plan to attend the BBQ.

Advance Registration is Helpful and Encouraged.

We ask that you register in advance where possible. This will ensure that we have sufficient personnel and resources to make this Event a success. It will also help us purchase enough food for our after event BBQ.

Online registration will close on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5:00 P.M. Volunteers who are unable to register in advance may register on the day of this Event between 9:00 and 10:00 A.M. at McKenna and Nisqually Park (aka Yelm Hydro Plant)..


What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from this Event?

All volunteers are encouraged to carpool to the Nisqually River Cleanup. Free parking is available at both McKenna Park and Nisqually Park. A Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass is required to park your vehicle at the 6th Avenue SE and Luhr Launch WDFW Water Access Sites. We will organize shuttles for those boating the river.

How do I find directions to the water access sites that we'll be using for this Event?

We will email you directions to each of the sites.

Can I update or cancel my registration?

You can update or cancel your registration online until registration closes on April 3, 2020 at 5:00 P.M. You can also update your registration in person on the day of this Event at any of our water access sites between 9:00 to 10:00 A.M. If you want to cancel your registration after registration closes, please email us at NisquallyRiverCleanup@gmail.com. We ask all those who register to cancel their registration if they will not be joining us.

Can I get a ride on someone else's raft or watercraft?

No, unless you have made such arrangements in advance with another volunteer or through one of the Clubs or other organizaitnbs participating in the Event and have registered as part of a team.

What if it rains or the water level is too high or low on the day of the Event?

We plan to proceed with the cleanup regardless of rain, as long as the river is not flooding or too low and is safely navigable. We will proceed with the cleanup of the river as it flows through the Billy Frank Jr., Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge provided our volunteers can safely navigate the Nisqually Delta and Reach given the weather and tides they will encounter. We will notify those who register in advance by email if we find it necessary to cancel this Event because of safety or other concerns. We will also post signs at the water access sites we are planning to use should this Event be cancelled.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

If you have questions, please email NisquallyRiverCleanup@gmail.com

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