Annual Umpqua Basin Stream Cleanup

It's fun, it's easy, and the rivers need your help! After enjoying recreation along the Umpqua River this summer, let's come together to help keep it clean. Help your community take care of the rivers and streams we all enjoy and join the 30th Annual Umpqua Basin Cleanup, every weekend in September. The Umpqua Basin cleanup is self-directed with numerous locations along the river; grab a few friends and join in the effort to keep the Umpqua River clean. Garbage bags, gloves, and site location assistance are provided; participants travel to and clean up their selected areas on their own.

Signup and Collect Supplies

Every Saturday in September PUR will be staffing a booth at the Umpqua Valley Farmer's Market on Diamond Lake Blvc. Come by to signup and collect gloves, bags, and locations.

Do you know an area on the Umpqua River that needs cleaning during the annual September Cleanup? Please submit your suggestion here.

Cleanup facebook Page

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I participate?

A: To participate in the cleanup, please:
  • Contact Umpqua Basin Cleanup coordinator Nancy Geyer (541.580.3150;; or 
  • Visit the Umpqua Basin Cleanup booth at the Umpqua Valley Farmers’ Market on Diamond Lake Saturday, September 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 anytime from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Supplies and information about cleanup locations will be available.
  • Youth groups, civic organizations, extended families or any other group with 10 volunteers or more can ask to have supplies delivered; contact Nancy Geyer for more information.
Q: What should I do with the garbage once I collect it?
  • Estimate the weight, and email it to, and then throw it away at the landfill for free!  
  • The Roseburg, Glide and Myrtle Creek Transfer Stations are open Wed.-Sat. 9-7.
Q: Where do tires go?  
  • If you find tires, contact Nancy Geyer for directions…we have a plan!.
Q: I found an arrowhead/neat old glass bottle/cultural artifact.  Can I keep it?  
  • No, please leave cultural and historic items in place on both public and private lands.  Email Nancy Geyer if you find these items. 
Q: There are chemicals or hazardous waste in the site we’re cleaning, what should I do?
  • Make sure volunteers identify each item before they touch them. If uncertain, leave it alone and contact a coordinator. A new hazard is propane tanks – don’t touch!  Report any hazardous waste to Oregon State Police (541.440.3333). 
Q: I saw a needle, what should I do?
  • Do not touch medical waste, hazardous materials or “sharps!” Leave the materials where you found it, make a note of the location, and call or email Nancy Geyer with the information.
Before Heading Out
  • Make sure everyone reads and signs SOLV waiver
  • Have gloves, proper clothing and shoes and try to work with a partner. 
  • Have a cell phone and a set of directions to the site.
  • Know what to do in case of emergency.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks even if you plan to be out for a short time. 
In the Field
  • Be careful of unstable banks, steep slopes and water; watch for fishing line and hooks and collect them safely if possible.
  • Watch for poison oak, plants with thorns or other natural hazards
  • Watch for traffic and wear your safety vest
  • Take breaks, rest and don’t work continually. Drink water, eat a snack... this is strenuous activity! 
  • Follow common sense practices when lifting heavy items
  • Be a good model of safe behavior. 


Important Health and Safety Information


Q: What is an algae bloom? 

A: Algae are microscopic plants that grow naturally in oceans and fresh waters. Under certain conditions, some algae can grow into a large visible mass called a bloom.

Q: Why are algae blooms a health concern? 

A: Not all blooms are harmful, but some species of algae, such as cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, can produce toxins or poisons that can cause serious illness or death in pets, livestock, wildlife and humans.

Q: How will I know if a toxic algae bloom is present? 

A: Algae blooms appear as thick foam or scum on the water’s surface. They can be bright green, blue-green, white or brown in color. Unfortunately, you cannot tell if an algae bloom is toxic just by looking at it. If you come across areas of thick algae, take precaution by avoiding water contact and keeping pets out of the water.

Q: What are the health risks posed by exposure to toxic algae? 

A: Skin irritation or rash is the most commonly reported health effect. Other symptoms range from diarrhea, cramps and vomiting to fainting, numbness, dizziness, tingling and paralysis. The most severe reactions occur when large amounts of water are swallowed. 

Q: When should I seek medical attention for exposure to toxic algae?

A: Exposure to toxins can produce symptoms of numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are particularly susceptible.

Q: What can I do to protect my pets from algae?

A: Dogs can be exposed to toxins by licking cyanobacteria from their fur after swimming. Don’t let pets or livestock swim or drink in areas where there is a scum or mat of algae on the water. If they do swim in such areas, rinse them off as soon as you can.  Symptoms of exposure to cyanobacterial toxins include loss of appetite, vomiting, weakness, seizures difficulty breathing and convulsions. Neurological symptoms, including salivation, can appear within 15 to 20 minutes of exposure. If your animals show any of these symptoms, seek veterinary advice. Be sure to tell your veterinarian that your animal may have come into contact with cyanobacterial toxins.