We Clean-Up Redwood Creek
By Judi McDowell
On February 13 eighty volunteers ages 6-91, assembled at Peninsula Yacht Club at Docktown Marina to participate in the first annual Romancing the Creek clean up event, which was organized by the Redwood Creek Preservation Trust, the Redwood Creek Floating Home Community, and the Peninsula Yacht Club.
After they were suitably fortified with coffee and pastries from Starbucks and Grocery Outlet, Creekmaster Dave McCallum assigned them territories and they set to work, collecting nearly two tons of trash from Redwood Creek and the nearby shores in just 1 1/2 hours.
Some walked the shores while others manned dinghies, kayaks, and paddle boats to pluck out any trash they could find along the banks and among the reeds of Redwood Creek from Veterans Blvd. to Bair Island. As items were off loaded from boats and trucks the volunteers stood on a bathroom scale with their finds, deducted their own weight, to arrive at a total of 3730 pounds of trash.
Standing on top of the growing pile of debris, McCallum praised the hard work of the army of volunteers and proclaimed the event a great success. “You did it!” he proclaimed to the cheers of the crowd. “Look at all the junk we pulled out of the creek.”
By the end of the events the pile included spiderman and hoppity hop toys, rubber balls of all sizes, tires, rebar, wood pallets, dock flotation foam, a car battery, a ski, a computer, a Pongo figurine, a green plastic hand, and a myriad of bottles, cans, wire, fabric, pvc pipe, styrofoam peanuts and cups — much of which would have ended up in the Bay or even the North Pacific Gyre where it could have poisoned and killed many birds and animals who call the water home.
Volunteers came from local churches, the Sea Scouts, oceanography classes, individual families, the Port of Redwood City and as far away as the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club. General Hardware helped with the purchase of special trash “pluckers” and the Redwood City Pride and Beautification Committee provided additional tools. Gloves and Bags were furnished by Cal Trans, Sims Metal and Granite Rock. Nor Cal Waste provided a dumpster and hauled all the trash away.
After the hard work, the volunteers enjoyed burgers and hot dogs generously provided by our local Grocery Outlet, and music provided by East Bay and Tuesday Band, which played until three in the afternoon.
The Trust is now officially organized as a non-profit corporation so that we can raise money to create events and materials to promote and protect the creek. “If you are interested in donating time or money to our Trust, your creek will love you,” said Judi McDowell.
One of the group’s long term goals is to install catchment devices along the creek to catch as much new debris as possible before it gets into the bay and ocean. This website also offers information and advice on how people can help keep our waterways free of toxins by using eco-friendly cleaning products.
Here are two slide shows with more pictures of the event by Judi McDowell and Lee Callister