Volunteers step up to help keep creeks clean

Healthy creeks need protection. The Santa Clara Valley Water District and an army of volunteers provided that protection at creek cleanups this fall.

Armed with pick-up sticks, gloves and a positive attitude, volunteers tackled the difficult but important job of cleaning trash out of county waterways, and their efforts were impressive.

Coastal Clean Up Day on Sept. 16 saw 1,892 volunteers collect 50,838 pounds of trash and 6,912 pounds of recyclables over more than 67 miles of creeks.

That effort was followed on Sept. 30 by a water district board of directors-hosted cleanup event on Coyote Creek. During that event, 136 volunteers removed 10,500 pounds of trash from the waterway.

Every year, the water district participates in Coastal Cleanup Day and National River Cleanup Day. Those two events plus the board’s Coyote Creek Cleanup helped the water district achieve clean creeks for the people and wildlife of the county, while saving money. The monetary value of the volunteer time, using U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, exceeded $360,000.

Below are statistics from all three cleanups together.

Creek Stewardship Volunteer Program: 2017 Achievements

Includes National River Cleanup Day (May 2017), Coastal Cleanup Day (Sept. 2017) and Coyote Creek Cleanup Day (Sept. 2017)

Volunteers for cleanup events: 3,279
Volunteer hours for cleanup events: 13,116
Miles of creeks cleaned: 133.37
Pounds of trash removed from creeks: 101,092
Value of volunteer time given to the district: $367,248

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With over 60 creeks in the county, a little help goes a long way. Last year volunteers cleaned up over 45 tons of trash countywide. Our maintenance crews work year round on the maintenance of 275 miles of creeks. They also monitor creeks before, during and after storms to remove any trash, fallen trees or blockages where possible. Last year our crews removed 393 tons of trash. Together we make a greater impact.


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