COASTAL CLEANUP DAY 2022
More than 1,350 Solano County Residents Volunteer at Local Cleanup Sites
and Help Protect Our Watersheds and Ocean
Solano County, CA (September 17, 2022)
This morning, all across Solano County, local citizens and community groups gathered for the 38th annual Coastal Cleanup Day, working to pick up trash, recyclables, and debris from waterways, parks, and roadsides. Equipped with buckets, gloves, and trash pickers, participants collected items ranging from small but numerous cigarette butts and bottle caps, to takeout food containers and recyclable beverage containers, to larger and unusual items like a rusted appliances and a chandelier. More than 1,350 Solano County volunteers came out for the event, joining 25,000+ additional Californians up and down the State as part of Coastal Cleanup Day – the largest single day volunteer event in California, and in the world.
There are more than 50 Coastal Cleanup sites across the Solano County. The site captains and volunteers who make these cleanups possible include teachers and school administrators; dedicated staff from Solano’s cities and agencies; boating groups; members of faith communities; employee groups organized around helping the environment, from businesses like Genentech, Amazon, and Valero; nonprofit workers, and many others. The history and organization behind each site is unique, but each represents a partnership of local citizens and volunteer groups who come together year after year to steward and take care of a particular place in their hometown or community, thereby helping the larger watershed and ocean.
“This was such a great event,” said Jennifer Kaiser, Public Information Officer for Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District. She commended our Solano County volunteers, noting, “It is intensely gratifying to see people show how much they care, and the great spirit and camaraderie. And such a beautiful morning too!”
In Downtown Vacaville, along Ulatis Creek in Andrews Park, volunteers gathered their trash in recycled and reusable buckets donated by Genentech. Emma Mendiola, who organizes the “Green Genes” group of Genentech employees dedicated to helping the environment, gathers hundreds of the company’s extra buckets for every Solano County cleanup event, helping our cleanups move towards becoming zero-waste events. Also at
Andrews Park, Vacaville resident and high school National Honor Society president Jake Moffat organized a group of his fellow students to gather trash as a school service event. Thinking about his future studies, Jake talked with fellow volunteers about options for careers in environmental engineering and chemistry, hoping to one day contribute to innovations that could help protect California’s climate, including our winter snowfall.
In Vallejo, at the Derr and Lemon Street Cleanup site in a historically industrialized area where the Napa River empties into the Carquinez Strait, one young volunteer commented that although he lives in Vallejo, he had never known this waterfront existed. Jesse Bethel Highschool teachers Larissa Goni and Crystal Johnson encouraged the student volunteers to imagine what the waterfront could become if it their movement to clean it up could carry forward to not only removing trash today but also to eventually working together as a community to remove the out-of-use industrial structures and improving public access. Before the students left for the day, each received a seedling from Roxann Reyes, Board Member with the City of Vallejo’s Beautification Commission. The students plan to contribute some of the seedling to the school’s currently underutilized garden plot. The morning’s cleanup fostered a growing synergy between these groups working to help Vallejo’s citizens and youth move towards a greener future.
Each Solano County’s Cleanup site demonstrates the vitality and cooperation that comes through when local residents unite around the common cause of improving their local environments and moving their neighborhoods towards the vision of the world they want for themselves and for their communities. And, while volunteers work to improve their individual sites, they are an important part of the larger picture of stewarding our watersheds and Coast.
Solano County’s storm drains and waterways drain to Sacramento River, Suisun Marsh, Carquinez Strait or San Pablo Bay, and ultimately to the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean. Cleaning upstream – our city streets and waterways – helps prevent garbage, single-use plastics, and recyclable cans and bottles from entering the ocean. In Solano County, more than 19,000 pounds of trash was collected during this morning’s 3 hour cleanup, primarily from creeks and other city drainages across the County, and nearly 300 pounds of cans and bottles were separated from the debris for recycling, something that is a priority for the cities and County of Solano.
Residents who couldn’t make it to the September 17th cleanup could still participate through the month of September by collecting trash and recyclables in their own neighborhood and recording their findings on the CleanSwell mobile app. CleanSwell was created by the Ocean Conservancy and allows for data recording, pictures, and posting to social media while also contributing to a global database on trash pollution.
Coastal Cleanup Day is coordinated by Solano Resource Conservation District on behalf of the cities and County of Solano and supported by partnerships with local wastewater agencies, parks, and the State’s Coastal Commission. The next Solano County cleanup event will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023 in honor of Earth Day. For a complete listing of Solano County community cleanups, please visit cleanupsolano.org.
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