Cleanup organizers look to build on the success of last year’s event, when more than 600 volunteers turned out to remove approximately 8,500 pounds of debris from the creek– the largest cleanup ever. More than 1,000 pounds of trash was recycled. “This is an event that promotes community service while helping create an interest in the local watershed,” said Diane Burgis, coordinator of Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed. “Folks see what gets into the creek from the storm drains, and cleaning up the creek helps motivate people to keep the creek from getting dirty again. This is an event that you see whole families doing together – it’s a real feel-good event!”
Marsh Creek Cleanup is a part of the California Coastal Commission’s California Coastal Cleanup Day that also boasted its biggest cleanup last year, when more than 63,000 volunteers cleaned up just under a million pounds of debris from creeks, rivers and lakes throughout California. The Coastal Commission has been working to steadily expand the effort; data gathered from cleanups in the past few years reveal the need to continue this expansion. Of the debris found on California’s beaches, 60 to 80 percent originates from inland or urban areas and washes out to the ocean.
“California Coastal Cleanup Day is among the largest of many efforts that the state undertakes to safeguard our coast and ocean,” said Eben Schwartz, Statewide Director of the Cleanup. “The key to the success of the Coastal Cleanup Day, though, is the dedication of the volunteers who give their time and effort to this cause. Cleanup volunteers not only help remove debris from our state’s beaches and waterways; they take away a powerful message of the need to prevent pollution year-round.”
Marsh Creek Cleanup is funded in part through grants awarded by the California Department of Conservation and the Contra Costa County Stewardship Grant administered by the Watershed Project. An REI grant has provided the funding for many of the expenses related to the Creek Cleanup Day effort.
“Without REI’s generous support we wouldn’t have been able to take on this very important project,” said Burgis.
Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water, a major sponsor and partner of the California Coastal Commission, donated water for the Marsh Creek Cleanup as well as all other cleanup efforts participating with the California Coastal Cleanup Program.
“CG Roxane LLC, producers of Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water, is proud to be a sponsor of California Coastal Cleanup Day,” said Ronan Papillaud, president and CEO of CG Roxane LLC, which has made environmental stewardship a priority in its company business model. “Working together with partners such as the California Coastal Cleanup Program will help to continue to beautify and preserve the state of California.” FOMCW has also recognized the Brentwood Press and the Monthly Grapevine for their generous sponsorship of the event.
Due to economic constraints, the Cleanup event in Brentwood has been scaled down this year, eliminating the traditional lunch and celebration. There will be four cleanup sites in Brentwood:
• Creekside Park on Crescent Way off of Balfour Road
• Central Boulevard across from the Dainty Center
• Bristow Middle School
• The end of Rosebrook Terrace next to Ron Nunn School
Brentwood residents are encouraged to download the volunteer waivers on www.fomcw.org, which includes maps to show which sites are closest to where residents live or go to school. For a map of the clean up area, click here
Creek Cleanup Day in Oakley hopes to expand by offering activities following the cleanup. There will be three Cleanup sites in Oakley:
• Creekside Park on Creekside Way off of Laurel Avenue
• The Cypress Avenue Bridge
• The Delta Road Bridge
Oakley residents are also encouraged to download volunteer waivers from the city of Oakley Web site, www.ci.oakley.ca.us. Volunteers are encouraged to show up at the Creekside Park site. For a map of the Oakley sites, click here
Groups are asked to pre-register by downloading waivers and calling Diane at 925-325-2908. Waivers will be collected, volunteers will be assigned sites and provided supplies. Groups are asked to pre-register before Sept. 10, if possible.
Volunteers are needed to help organize the event ahead of time and to help with set-up, break-down and registration of volunteers on the day of the event. Please contact Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed at 925-325-2908 or visit www.fomcw.org.