Tag Archives: Cleanup

Damon Marsh clean-up

CCCD 09 - Katie Noonan, Oakland HS sciCalifornia Coastal Cleanup Day may be the world’s largest marine-related volunteer event, but every day we need to keep our coastline clean.  This year’s Cleanup Day slogan was “Help make trash extinct”!  It’s a long-term project, and every communal effort takes us a step closer to safer, more beautiful beaches and waterways.

Join us at Damon Slough in Oakland on Sat, Dec 7, 10 am – noon.  The Marsh is at MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline, a 741-acre park protecting the remainder of a once-extensive wetland on San Leandro Bay.  The park includes the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Grove, completed with community support and dedicated in 1993.  The 50-acre Arrowhead Marsh is a stop-over on the Pacific Flyway and is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.


  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes
  • Hat and other sunblock
  • Layers for changeable weather
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (no single-use plastic, please!)

Also bring your own reusable supplies if you have any of the following:  bucket, trash bags, and gloves.

RSVP to confirm your participation:  (510) 532-6574 or info@greensangha.org.

Damon Slough is located at the very end of Edgewater Drive.  From Hwy 880, take the Hegenberger Rd. exit, go over the overpass (toward airport) and turn right on Edgewater Dr.  Proceed 1.1 miles; Edgewater will reduce from 4 lanes with a median to a narrow 2-lane road.  Proceed to the end of this 2-lane, continue through the gate, and on the left you will see the Garretson Point parking lot.  We will park and gather there at 10 am.

This event takes the place of the East Bay chapter’s monthly retreat.  Restore yourself from within while restoring the world without!

Coastal Clean-up Day

Mark you calendar for the nation’s most popular volunteer environmental event of the year!  Coastal Cleanup Day, Saturday, Sep 15, 9 am to noon.

Join Green Sangha members at one of two sites:  1) Damon Slough at the Oakland Coliseum, 2) McNear’s Beach in San Rafael (our 9th year!).   You may also go to any of scores of spots in the Bay Area (check the Coastal Commission’s web page here, and click on their link for “local coordinator” to find a site near you).

Wear sturdy, close-toed shoes, layers for changeable weather, a hat and other sun protection as needed.  Bring also a water bottle (reusable, of course), gloves, and a bucket if you have one.  The Coastal Commission is making a big push for zero waste at the clean-up, in response to many participants’ comments about throw-away plastic bags (replete with corporate sponsors’ names) being used in the past.

Last year at McNear’s Beach, we broke some records:

  1. We topped our ’08 & ’10 highs of 52 volunteers, with a total of 55 individuals participating.
  2. Volunteers collected more fishing line than ever before: 183 Pieces. Ugh!
  3. Biggest number:  Volunteers picked up 937 individual pieces of plastic (not counting whole items such as bottles or pipes). Double ugh!

The top item, though, was Styrofoam (a subset of plastic pieces):  580 bits.  If you have ever tried recovering littered foam, you know how easily these pieces break apart.

In 3 short hours, 55 volunteers recovered a total of 2511 pieces, ranging in size from large (a car tire, fishing nets, crates) to miniscule (Styrofoam bits, cigarette butts). There’s no way to know for sure the long-term impact of each piece of litter.  Some types (fishing nets, for example) appear far more hazardous to wildlife and boats than others.  But we might estimate an average cost of one animal’s life per piece of litter. If so, we saved 2511 animals’ lives on that sunny morning.

Here’s a special shout-out to Bernard, Maeve, and Sita, who combed the shore for those hundreds of plastic pieces; to Ishon and friends, who retrieved a long fishing net (and a balloon from a tree); to the Girl Scouts, 4-H Club, and everyone else who brought their gloves, buckets, and smiles.

McNear’s Beach litter tally, Sep 17, 2011

  • 580 Styrofoam bits
  • 357 plastic bags
  • 236 food wrappers/containers
  • 219 glass bits
  • 193 miscellaneous plastic bits
  • 183 fishing lines
  • 122 glass bottles
  • 116 cigarettes/filters
  • 92 caps, lids
  • 78 paper bags
  • 48 plastic beverage bottles
  • 47 foodware items (e.g., plastic forks)
  • 45 building materials
  • 42 paper/cardboard pieces
  • 32 beverage cans
  • 29 cigar tips
  • 24 clothing/shoes
  • 19 nets
  • 17 balloons
  • 16 pull tabs
  • 15 straws/stirrers
  • 15 toys
  • 11 rope
  • 8 each:
  • shotgun shells, wadding
  • tobacco packaging
  • fishing lures
  • traps (fish, crab, lobster)
  • 2 each:
  • batteries
  • crates
  • cigarette lighters
  • diapers
  • painted pictures
  • bait containers
  • 1 each:
  • bleach bottle
  • bee trap
  • tire
  • car part
  • syringe
  • feminine napkin
  • plastic glove
  • band-aid
  • comb