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Photos from First of Two Great Los Angeles River CleanUps

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The Los Angeles region is a behemoth, but the reality of it is that we are all connected. Garbage left on city streets ends up in storm drains, which carries it to the ocean. The water gets polluted, the animals get poisoned, the people get ill, the beaches close and none of it ends well.

That's why consistent cleanups in the river are so important. And every year, there's a massive one run by the Friends of the LA River called the Great Los Angeles River CleanUp. On Friday, the event, now in its 20th year, kicked off with 700 kids from eleven schools with an additional 100 City Year volunteers. But that was only the first of two days (this one being for schools). The second event, on Saturday May 9th, involves you, us and everyone who wants to volunteer at 14 different sites around the river.