The "Clean Rivers" Program was started in 2017 by Club Member Ignacio (Nacho) Guzman.
At least twice per year, the Rotary Club Puerto Vallarta Sur, in conjunction with local and visiting Rotaract Clubs, organises and undertakes the cleaning of one of the local rivers.
There are 27 bodies of water surrounding Puerto Vallarta. There are rivers - the Ameca, the Pitillal, and the Cuale being the largest rivers - as well as many creeks and streams. Due to the mountain around Puerto Vallarta, many of these bodies of water pass through many communities as the water makes its way downhill to Banderas Bay. The rivers also form the source of drinking water for the Puerto Vallarta area.
With the heavy rains in the summer, garbage tossed into the banks and beds of these bodies of water gets carried down to the ocean as the levels of water rise.
The Rotary Club Puerto Vallarta Sur coordinates the clean-ups with the municipality. Other organizations participate including Rotaract Clubs, the Volcanes Community Education Project, local High Schools and Secondary Schools, other service clubs, sports teams, military cadets, and the local City Council with its different agencies including Paramedics and Civil Protection. Educating the communities is an important part of this program.
The clean-up of the Cuale River in March 2018 involved more than 300 participants over a 2 day period at which time more than 3.5 tons of garbage was cleaned from the river bank and bed. The majority of the garbage collected was plastic, although a large beer cooler, rubber tires, vehicle parts and construction debris were also found.
2 recent clean-ups of the Pitillal River in March and May 2019 collected more than 3 metric tonnes of garbage, most of which was plastic.
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