AN OLYMPIC SIZED CALIFORNIA COASTAL CLEANUP DAY

By Director Linda J. LeZotte, representative for District 4

This summer, the world watched as more than 11,000 athletes gathered in Tokyo to continue the Olympic tradition, inspiring us by soaring to new heights and breaking worlds records, despite the COVID pandemic. The games, held without spectators, adapted to the circumstances we have faced since early 2020—ensuring the values of excellence, courage, and determination were displayed for the world to enjoy as we celebrated our collective resilience.

Santa Clara County has adapted to life with COVID and I have witnessed our community find the strength and ingenuity to continue pursuing the goals that are important to us. At Valley Water, providing safe, clean water amidst an extreme drought emergency, and protecting the environment while adapting to current health and safety challenges, are our ongoing priorities.

In that spirit, on September 18, our community joined together for our first in-person California Coastal Cleanup Day annual effort since 2019. Hundreds of volunteers of all ages and walks of life, 913 to be precise, responded to the Clean Creeks Coalition’s call to recognize Coastal Cleanup Day by creating teams to clean up creeks, streams, rivers, and coasts.

In total, volunteers picked up approximately 29,432 pounds of trash and recyclables and cleaned 99 miles of waterways. That’s the equivalent of lifting more than 24,011 gold medals and running 396 laps around a track! Amongst the items they hauled out of our waterways were a piano, a sewing machine, a lawn chair, car parts, propane cylinders, and even a toilet.

Since trash on our streets and in local creeks and parks can travel through our stormwater systems and waterways, efforts like California Coastal Cleanup Day help prevent single-use plastic items and other litter from polluting our environment and flowing into the ocean.

Congratulations, environmental champions!

Cleaning our creeks and working together to conserve water is a year-round endurance competition at Valley Water, but with the help of our teammates in the community, we can protect our environment and stop pollution where it starts. If you are inspired to join our efforts, please sign-up for our year-round creek cleanups by visiting http://www.cleanacreek.org. May the Olympic spirit live on!

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