Film: “Doing Our Part to Clean up San Francisco Bay”

Grantee: Golden Gate Audubon (GGA)
Project completed 2017
Clean Water Program grant: $5,000

Land-based litter threatens local wildlife by accidental ingestion, entanglement and suffocation. One of the most effective ways to inspire and motivate effective ecological stewardship by local youth, is to communicate that wildlife depends on safe, clean, healthy watersheds. Golden Gate Audubon (GGA) used their Clean Water Program grant to produce a 17-minute film made with and for youth of diverse backgrounds.

Doing Our Part to Clean up San Francisco Bay follows East Bay resident Jeremiah Mellor and his friends as they explore the beauty of the San Francisco Bay and its wild inhabitants, and learn what they can do to help clean up the Bay and stop threats from marine trash. Working with local filmmaker and wildlife conservation volunteer Nancy Brink, GGA gathered footage and shot on location at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Shoreline in Oakland with local school children and their family members.

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

Doing our part GGA video thumb


The Eco-Oakland Program

Grantee: Golden Gate Audubon
Project completed 2015/16
Total project cost: $55,000
Clean Water Program grant: $5,000

The Eco-Oakland Program was created by Golden Gate Audubon (GGA) in 1999 to provide East Oakland students and their family members with high quality environmental education opportunities. Since its creation, the year-long, watershed-wide curriculum program has served roughly 2,750 children in over 10 schools.

For the 2015 grant project, GGA brought a series of bilingual classroom and schoolyard lessons to seven elementary school classes fostering watershed stewardship values, pro-environmental behavior and teaching students about local wildlife and habitat. Each of the seven classes also went on two weekday fieldtrips to MLK, Jr Shoreline and Arroyo Viejo Creek where students conducted bird surveys, planted native plants for habitat restoration, removed trash and studied organisms to gauge the health of each ecosystem at the parks.

To engage the students’ families in stewardship activities, they were invited to join monthly habitat restoration events at MLK, Jr Shoreline. At the end of the year each class takes a trip to Muir Beach in Marin County where students and parent chaperons explore the inter-tidal zone, hike the headlands and engage in a beach clean-up after learning marine conservation strategies.

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

gga 2015 project profile photos


Cleaning up Oakland’s Sausal Creek and Watershed

Grantee: Friends of Sausal Creek
Project completed 2015/16
Total project cost: $8,000
Clean Water Program grant: $4,500

Friends of Sausal Creek (FOSC) is a volunteer-based, nonprofit, community organization dedicated to the restoration and protection of Sausal Creek and its watershed.

Their 2015 grant project involved supporting volunteer site leaders at 15 locations throughout the watershed in leading public workdays, hands-on restoration field trips for local students, public in-the-creek cleanups, and public trail stewardship workdays. FOSC staff assisted site leaders with restoration and planning, outreach and volunteer recruitment, city coordination and tools procurement. FOSC also provided local native plants grown at the FOSC Native Plant Nursery to the sites.

Over the course of the one-year project, a total of 1,282 volunteers contributed 3,516 hours picking up trash, removing invasive nonnative plants, putting in native plants and addressing erosion and hydrology issues on trails. A highlight was a Student March Against Litter and Illegal Dumping through Oakland's Dimond and Fruitvale neighborhoods.

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

fosc 2015 project profile photos


Removing Toxic Microplastics from Albany Beach

Grantee: Albany Landfill Dog Owners Groups and Friends (ALDOG)
Project completed 2017
Clean Water Program grant: $5,000*
*does not include in-kind donations and volunteer labor

Albany Landfill Dog Owners Groups and Friends (ALDOG) is a grassroots, volunteer community group that encourages stewardship at the Albany waterfront, organizing at least three beach cleanups a year, in collaboration with the East Bay Regional Park District. As documented by researchers, the beach receives deposits of plastic and other debris, including very small particles, possibly due to pattern of water currents in San Francisco Bay.

Their 2017 grant helped ALDOG organize a systematic “deep cleaning” of the approximately 600-foot-long Albany Beach, utilizing a dozen static charge filtration screens. The group launched a comprehensive local outreach campaign to educate residents about the plastic debris issue and to recruit volunteers for the one-day “Sift the Sand” event in October 2017. The inventor of the patented filtration system, from Sea Turtles Forever, joined the event to demonstrate the use of the screens and oversee the 115 volunteers—many of whom hope to form a core team for future microplastics cleanups.

Within 6 hours of work, they removed 2,440 pounds of debris. ALDOG created a short video and slide show about the project that document the work and system used.

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

ALDOG sift the sand


Pet Waste Pollution Research & Outreach in Oakland

Grantee: EarthTeam, in collaboration with Skyline High School and Friends of Sausal Creek
Project completed 2018
Clean Water Program grant: $5,000
*does not include matching funds and volunteer labor

EarthTeam’s mission is to empower teens to become lifelong environmental stewards through experiential education, skills development and the building of community connections.

Their 2018 grant project focused on pet waste and its detrimental effect on water quality. Partnering with Friends of Sausal Creek in fall of 2017, students from Skyline High School performed creek water tests at multiple sites in and around Dimond Park in Oakland to assess creek health. Results were summarized in a research poster. The students also developed and ran a survey to gauge park users’ knowledge of and opinion about the effects of pet waste on local water quality.

To raise awareness and motivate dog owners to pick up after their pets, the students created a brochure and temporary signage explaining the ecosystem present in Dimond Park, threats to water quality including both pet waste and other factors, and the consequences of poor water quality on human health. In-person outreach and a community event during winter 2018 supported the efforts. When the students repeated their survey in February 2018, results showed improved knowledge and increased concern for water quality and biodiversity among park visitors.

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

Earth Team pet waste