Volunteers still needed for Coastal Cleanup Day



East County residents have already signed up to volunteer to help clean local creeks and the Delta shoreline for the annual Coastal Cleanup Day slated for Sept. 16, but more volunteers are still needed to make it a success. Several different organizations are offering cleanup opportunities throughout East County, so there is likely to be a clean-up site close to you.

“This is a great opportunity to not only join with thousands of others across the state caring for our environment, but to teach children the importance of protecting our small part of the planet,” said Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed Program Director Rick Lemyre. “It’s also a great way for high school students to earn community service hours they need to graduate.”

Under the guise of many names locally, including “Creek Cleanup,” “Delta Cleanup” and even “River Cleanup,” Coastal Cleanup Day, which is celebrating 33 consecutive cleanups on the third Saturday in September, has become a popular event over the past few years in East County. While people mostly hear about the vast numbers of plastic bottles that make its way out to sea, there are a wide variety items that need to be picked up locally to help keep the environment safe. The top item reported throughout the state is cigarettes or cigarette filters, of which nearly seven million have been picked up by clean up volunteers.

FOMCW will be cleaning eight sites this year, including four in Brentwood, two in Oakley, one in Discovery Bay and one in Antioch. All Coastal Cleanup Day events in East County at from 9 a.m. to noon.

“In an effort to make this year’s event even greener, volunteers are being encouraged to bring a bucket or other reusable container for collecting the trash, which will help keep plastic garbage bags out of landfills,” Lemyre said.

Volunteers can pick a site by logging into www.FOMCW.org and click “Get Involved.” Maps to the sites are at the bottom of the page to direct participants to the area closest to them.

Antioch has three sites where individuals, families and groups can “pitch in and pick up litter and other debris” that ends up on Antioch’s shoreline and creeks. The sites include Antioch Marina, Antioch Water Park and Fulton Shipyard Road at the Red Caboose.

The Antioch folks are taking this program one step further by offering a special “in-water” cleanup day on Friday, Sept. 15. Volunteers will be cleaning the river shoreline from kayaks and canoes. Pre-registration is required to reserve a kayak. This event will start at 8:30 a.m. and will be launching from the new kayak launch inside the Marina. Volunteers must bring their own boat or rent a kayak from Delta Kayak Adventures for $10 a person. This boat-based cleanup has limited space so anyone interested in helping with the kayak pre-cleanup is encouraged to contact Julie Haas-Wajdowicz with the City of Antioch at (925) 779-7097, as soon as possible.

This year the Sept. 16 Fulton Shipyard Road clean-up will be partnering with the Delta Protection Commission.

“We understand that this is one of the more popular sites for clean-up in Antioch, however the city doesn’t have enough staff to cover this site,” said the Commission Information Officer Stacy Hayden. “This is such an important activity that we wanted to help where we can do the most good.” Hayden said that she will personally be the site captain for this site.

Volunteers for the Antioch clean-up can register in advance at www.ci.antioch.ca.us/Environment/Coastal-Cleanup-Day/ or just drop in at one of the sites and complete a registration form on the day of the event.

Back in 2012 the Delta Protection Commission began working on a large effort on Coastal Cleanup Day to clean the waters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The group has volunteer opportunities in Contra Costa County, Yolo County, San Joaquin County, Solano County and Sacramento County.

According to Hayden, volunteers are needed the most in both Solano and Sacramento counties. For more information and maps of the sites for Coastal Cleanup Day, go to http://delta.ca.gov.



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