By Paula White
Long time residents of the Bay Area may remember when birds were a rarity. Not anymore–today some 200 bird species live in and around the Bay Shoreline. Frequent visitors include Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, Great and Snowy egrets, Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks, and American Wigeons, Western Gulls… you get the picture. Yet plastic pollution persists throughout our watersheds and continues to pose a threat to birds and other wildlife species that live in water. Coastal Cleanup Day data has played an important part in identifying problem plastics that have resulted in many product bans at the local and state level as well as in many countries around the world. The Watershed Project invites you to help protect critical habitat by participating in Coastal Cleanup Day this year in September.
The official California Coastal Cleanup Day is on Saturday, September 23. The Watershed Project will be co-hosting our annual Richmond Shoreline Coastal Cleanup Day event at Shimada Friendship Park with Supervisor John Gioia. We’re excited to offer a pre-event bird walk at 8 am hosted by our friends the Golden Gate Bird Alliance (formerly Golden Gate Audubon). The walk will start at the junction of the Meeker Slough and the Bay Trail. No pre-registration necessary. We’ll be hosting our most unusual item contest and we’re bringing back the treasure hunt! Finally, join us at noon for a delicious organic lunch from Artisan Kitchen. Huge thank you to our co-hosts Supervisor John Gioia and the City of Richmond, our partners Groundwork Richmond and Golden Gate Bird Alliance, and our marquee sponsor Wareham Development.
Our Albany Beach event is another longtime event we have held with local partners. We’ll have some tasty snacks and coffee to give you energy for the day. While cleaning up the beautiful sandy beach, be on the lookout for weird trash for the most unusual items contest. We’ll also have an invasive plant removal activity to further clean up Albany beach. We are grateful for the support of the City of Albany and our partners ALDOG and Wholly H2O.
Coastal Cleanup Day events will be happening all across Contra Costa County and the state. To find a site near you, consult the Contra Costa County cleanup sites map or the California Coastal Commission’s state sites map. If you’re reading this newsletter in another state or even another country, there are cleanups happening across the globe as shown on the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day map. The Ocean Conservancy has been organizing Coastal Cleanup Day events since 1986 and collecting data to better understand the nature of the trash problem. Today over 150 countries contribute to this community science effort to prevent trash from clogging up our waterways. We hope you’ll join the global village of trash activists this September to restore and protect planet earth.