On Saturday, September 15th over 1,500 volunteers are expected to participate in the 23rd Annual Oakland Creek to Bay Day. Oakland Creek to Bay Day is part of California and International Coastal Cleanup Day, the largest volunteer day in the world. Volunteers will remove trash from streets, parks, shorelines and waterways across Oakland, the California, the United States, and in about 100 countries.
Local activities, such as Oakland’s 53 Creek to Bay Day projects, have large-scale environmental impacts. Habitat restoration and litter removal in Oakland’s creeks improves wildlife habitat and helps filter pollutants before they reach San Francisco Bay. Serving as refuges, migratory stopovers, and corridors between open spaces and parks, Oakland’s creeks are critical to wildlife. Keeping trash out of streets and waterways also helps prevent flooding during rain storms by allowing storm water to flow through unobstructed storm drains. Oakland Creek to Bay Day raises awareness about sources of water pollution, and is a fun, community-building event for participants of all ages and abilities.
Oakland Creek to Bay Day and Coastal Cleanup Day volunteers also collect data about what kinds and amounts of trash they find and cleanup. This data gives us a better understanding of the types, amounts, and sources of trash. Eighty percent of all trash found in the oceans originates on land, so our efforts to collect data, and prevent trash from entering the storm drain system and our natural waterways are critical.
In 2017, 1,776 Oakland Creek to Bay Day volunteers removed over 40,000 gallons (equal to 1,342 30-gallon trash bags) of trash and 48,390 gallons of invasive plants from Oakland’s creeks, parks, shorelines, and streets. Worldwide, nearly 800,000 volunteers prevented 20 million pounds of trash —equivalent to the weight of over 100 Boeing 737s—from entering inland waterways and oceans. We look forward to an even more successful event in 2018.
Visit www.oaklandcreektobay.org for an interactive map and table of project descriptions, locations, and times. Connect on Facebook via Sustainable Oakland.
Jane Dixon is new to blogging in Oakland, but loves The Town!