STOCKTON — Over 800 volunteers dedicated their time and energy to address some of the worst environmental damage San Joaquin County has ever seen while taking part in the 2019 Coastal Cleanup Day this past Saturday.
“While we’re not a coastal region, we are a proud riverfront community. We also understand what is dumped in our rivers eventually ends up in the ocean. As a result, many of the sites residents volunteered to clean up were along the banks of the Delta and along rivers and streams and isolated homeless encampments,” said Supervisor Miguel Villapudua, Chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. “The tremendous pride our residents have in their surroundings is beyond measure and is to be celebrated by all who live, work and play in the place we call home.”
In all, this was what was collected in a span of just three hours by the hundreds of San Joaquin County volunteers:
uNumber of volunteers: 804 (200 more than 2018)
uEstimated weight of garbage collected: 76,677 pounds
uTotal miles cleared: 45.25
uBags Used: 408
uBoats/Vessels Deployed: 15
“It didn’t matter if you were young or old, homeowner or homeless, individuals from all walks of life stepped in to do their part to clean San Joaquin as part of this statewide volunteer waste removal effort,“ added Kris Balaji, San Joaquin County Public Works Director. “Our hats are off to all the residents, parents, students, church members, business leaders and corporate sponsors who stepped in to serve as site coordinators and garbage collectors or offered their services and equipment or generous donations to this worthy cause.”
San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti is one such business owner who did his part. With his local company Delta Cranes, he put himself and his equipment to work in short order to help pull 32 tons of debris from the Smith Canal. The total catch included recovering more than 300 shopping carts, sunk boats, furniture and trash from nearby homeless encampments, more than the total amount of garbage collected from 15 sites last year.
“What I did was just a small contribution compared to the efforts from many who planned and worked with dedication and purpose making this massive waste-removal undertaking such a huge success. The time invested was built on the pureness of heart of all those who care about their community and to make San Joaquin County the best that it can be,” Supervisor Patti noted.
For more information about how people can volunteer to help in next year’s Coastal Clean Up Day, contact San Joaquin County Public Works – Water Resources at (209) 468-3089 or www.sjcleanwater.org or the California Coastal Commission at www.coastal.ca.gov.