Juliana Gonzalez of The Watershed Project shared the following update Friday.
The Watershed Project staff is very grateful for your support to the Albany Coastal Cleanup Day 2012. Over 220 people came out to clean and collected over 1317 pounds of trash and 56 pounds of recyclables. Most of the trash was small items such as cigarette filters, small plastic pieces and bottle caps which make that number so much more impressive, but there were a few large items such as shopping carts, tires, building materials and car parts. Close to 100 volunteers brought their own cleaning supplies including buckets and gloves reducing the overall environmental foot print of the event itself. TWP outreached to the local businesses and got raffle prizes donated for the volunteers; we also outreached to the YMCA, the local cub scouts and the schools and got organized groups to bring pick up teams to the event. We found this strategy to be a great way to get the community engaged. The event was well advertized in local event calendars and bulletin boards. We also passed fliers during the Solano Stroll and found this to be a successful way of getting the neighbors informed about the cleanup.
The volunteers came out with their families to clean and the watershed project staff welcomed them and made the event engaging and educational for all ages. TWP had multiple educational activities and displays including a dissected albatross bolus, jars with samples of marine debris from all over the Bay Area, posters about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and an interactive trash decomposition time line. At the end of the day volunteers were asked to sign a pledge to do their part to reduce their own plastic foot print by using less single use disposable items. People pledge to always bring their own canvas bag to the grocery store, to bring their coffee mug to work or to stop using straws, among many other pledges.
Volunteers were asked to collect data using the International Coastal Cleanup tally card for the majority of the area cleaned.
Results from the Coastal Cleanup Tally Card show that the area is heavily impacted by litter of items such as food wrappers, cigarette/filters and caps and straws. This trash could be deposited in the area by park users or also be brought to the area by the incoming tides. Volunteers fund a surprising amount of shot gun shells which raises some concern and may need to be investigated further.
Learn how to get involved in the Largest Cleanup Event on the Planet