Coastal Cleanup Day At Shimada Park

We kicked off our internship with an EarthTeam all school Coastal Cleanup & Creek to Bay Day!

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.59.02 PMEvery year in September, people all over the world join together to take part in one of the largest volunteer events to clean up creeks and shorelines in their communities. This year EarthTeam was at it with all of the internships jumping right in! While Oakland High and Skyline were off at Dimond Park doing some restoration work to remove invasive plant species, Pinole Valley High and my group from Richmond High were hard at work along the coastline helping to complete a trash assessment.

We gathered together at Shimada Park to register for the event, get our materials to clean up and picked a spot to get started! There were several groups there, including people from our Health Academy out to support in the work. We worked along the rocks sometimes having to reach deep into the rocks to get some trash that got washed up and trapped.

We found several different kinds of trash, including bullet casings. It was surprising to find trash under the rocks along the coast. I didn’t think there would be anything there. That trash was a real challenge to remove. We filled up about 3 large bags in a couple of short hours. I couldn’t believe how much visible trash was along the coastline. As we finished filling our third bag, we went to take a break and set the bags down near a bench. After we finished our break, we went back to work and found a tire on the rocks! We took the tire to our bags of trash to bring back to the group only to find that someone took our trash!!

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.58.39 PM         Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.59.42 PM         Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.59.58 PM

After laughing it off we set back to work on the smaller bits of trash we might have missed. As we began making our way back to the initial meeting spot, we managed to fill up another bag of litter just from smaller trash we found! Its crazy to think about how much trash we recovered and to think about how much trash is still ending up in our ocean.

I had a great time getting to see all the people that were involved in helping out the community and the environment. I enjoyed seeing the kids helping us out, getting to work hands on to make a difference, and eating lunch with everyone after we finished.

– Areli

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