06 April 2016

Celebrate Earth Day 2016!

Volunteers wanted to help clean up litter, plant trees and more!

Earth Day is April 22, with many Earth Day events in Alameda County happening throughout the month. Join us in celebrating our area’s natural beauty and help keep our creeks, shores and the Bay healthy at one of many litter cleanup and restoration events!

Click here to find an event near you!

For more events beyond Alameda County, check out CalRecycle’s Earth Day listings. Volunteers make a big difference. During last year’s Earth Day activities in Oakland alone, over 3,400 participants collected more than 170 cubic yards of trash and more than 500 cubic yards of weeds and green waste—enough to fill more than 4,000 35-gallon garbage bags!

Keeping litter off the ground in our communities is critical to our waterways’ health. That’s because litter is carried by rainwater, street runoff and wind into the storm drain system. From there it travels into creeks, the Bay and the ocean, as stormwater generally does not pass through a water treatment plant. In fact, 80% of all litter found in the ocean originates inland!

Plastic bags and other lightweight plastic litter items are particularly hazardous because they float, entangling and poisoning marine wildlife that mistakes the items for food. Less visible but equally serious is the negative impact plastic marine debris has on the food chain: Plastic fragments can concentrate and transport chemical pollutants into the marine food web, and potentially into human diets.

The Clean Water Program encourages citizens to stop litter at the source by always placing trash in garbage cans or recycling containers, buying reusable instead of disposable products and minimizing packaging as much as possible.

To learn more about litter and other pollutants and what you can do to keep our waterways clean, click here!