San Francisco River clean up is Saturday

The San Francisco River in Greenlee County.

CLIFTON — Numerous groups and volunteers will come together this weekend to help clean the San Francisco River in Clifton.

“The purpose of this is to aid in the effort to decrease the E. coli in the river,” said Melanie Tluczek, executive director for the Gila Watershed Partnership. “The San Francisco and Blue river are considered impaired for E. coli, and that means they have levels that are higher than what you would want swim in at certain times of the year. So that’s not good, but the good news is there’s a fix.”

The “fix” is conducting community clean-ups for the last five years, as well as constructing three restrooms along the river.

“Years ago, GWP had the water tested for E. coli in the river . . . and it turned out to be about 50 percent human. Which turned out to be a big surprise to everyone; they were thinking bovine,” Tluczek said. “So we’ve really dedicated ourselves to working on that human component.”

Joining Gila Watershed Partnership for the clean-up will be Friends of the Frisco, Southeastern Arizona Clean and Beautiful, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the Town of Clifton and Freeport-McMoRan.

Volunteers will meet at the Veterans Park ramada at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 6, provided tools to clean and directed to the areas most in need of cleaning.

A sack lunch will be provided.