Images of the devastation of hurricanes in Texas and Florida are everywhere in the media these days, but cleaning up after the relatively benign daily visits of everyday people to Sonoma’s coasts and rivers is a year-round challenge, say area environmentalists.
Saturday, Sept. 16, is the largest annual volunteer cleanup in the area, the 33rd annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. At last year’s California Coastal Cleanup Day, more than half a million people picked up 18.3 million pounds of trash and debris from some of the state’s most sensitive natural habitats. In Sonoma County, the haul was more than 2,500 pounds from 600 volunteers, and another 3,500 pounds from 350 volunteers in Mendocino County.
Not just the ocean beaches that suffer the summer crowds, but the streams and creeks of Sonoma Valley will also get some attention from well-meaning volunteers who will spend the day picking up other people’s trash.
Locally, the Sonoma Ecology Center will be hosting 2017 cleanup efforts for the Sonoma Valley at several area locations, including Fryer Creek, Nathanson Creek, Maxwell Farms and Larson regional parks.
“Coastal Cleanup Day is one of several waterway clean-ups that we organize each year, and it may be the biggest of them all,” said SEC communications manager Don Frances. “Last year our volunteers picked up nearly 400 pounds of trash from the four Sonoma Valley sites.”
Clean-up hours are from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are asked to wear comfortable and/or waterproof shoes, layered clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty, and work gloves, and to bring plastic bags to collect trash.
“We always find that these volunteer efforts foster a sense of community service that is even more rewarding than getting all that trash out of our streams,” said Frances.
For more information, contact Patrick Willis at SEC, 996-0712 ext. 126, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cleaning up local creeks
Saturday, Sept. 16 is California Coastal Cleanup Day. Sonoma Ecology Center is planning four creek cleanups in the Valley, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the following locations:
• Sonoma Creek: Meet at Maxwell Farms Regional Park at the Boys & Girls Club, 100 Verano Ave.
• Sonoma Creek: Larson Regional Park. Meet at picnic tables near new community garden site, 329 DeChene Ave.
• Nathanson Creek Preserve: Meet at the Demonstration Garden, corner of MacArthur and Second Street East.
• Fryer Creek: Meet in the Safeway parking lot, 447 West Napa.