On-the-Water Estuary Cleanup

Grantee: I HEART Oakland-Alameda Estuary
Project duration 2019-20
Clean Water Program grant: $5,000*
*does not include matching funds and volunteer labor

I Heart Oakland-Alameda Estuary is a group of water sport enthusiasts brought together by their shared love of the Oakland Estuary near Jack London Aquatic Center and the birds, fish and seals that call it home. Observing up-close how garbage and litter negatively impacts wildlife on beaches around the Estuary, they started organizing recurring cleanups that engage participants not only on land but also in dragon boats, canoes, kayaks, and other types of watercraft allowing them to access remote locations that cannot be reached on foot.

A 2019 grant helped the group fund two large cleanup events, each aiming to collect 1,000 pounds of garbage from the Estuary. The first event in fall 2019 by far topped this goal with well over 2,000 pounds of debris collected, including litter washed into the Estuary through storm drains, but also illegally dumped large items, garbage from homeless encampments and people living on abandoned boats, sharps, chemicals and more. In addition to cleaning up litter and restoring the Estuary for wildlife, I Heart Oakland-Alameda Estuary is building partnerships with local businesses, public agencies and schools to grow awareness of the litter problem and scale up solutions.

More grant funding for projects like this is available! Learn more.

Images: Mary Spicer

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