Over 3,700 Pounds of Trash Removed as Result of EDC’s Goleta Creeks Cleanup Program
December 13, 2016
Goleta — Over the past summer and fall months, teams of heroic volunteers have been venturing down into Goleta’s urban creeks in an effort to remove the vast amount of accumulated trash before winter rains wash it to the ocean and local beaches.
Led by the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), volunteers were able to remove an astounding 3,717 pounds of trash from ten local creeks. After over 270 hours of volunteer work, almost two tons of trash – full of plastic bags and water bottles, styrofoam, derelict homeless shelters, shopping carts, batteries, car parts and even hazardous materials – is no longer impacting our watersheds or threatening to pollute our beaches.
“It was awe-inspiring to see the community really come together to protect our clean water, wildlife habitats and beaches. This year’s cleanup surpassed all previous efforts, netting over 3,700 pounds of garbage removed from the creeks before winter rains which would wash it to the Pacific Ocean and onto local beaches, including Goleta Beach,” said Brian Trautwein, EDC’s Environmental Analyst and Watershed Program Coordinator.
Volunteers have toiled in dry open concrete channels, unlit highway underpasses, overgrown creek beds, and remarkably (given the current state of the drought) flowing streams—all in the name of protecting our creeks and coast. Our local creeks are often the first to bear the brunt of illegal dumping, street runoff, and other sources of pollution. By removing trash from our creeks before the winter rains, EDC is protecting clean water and ensuring local streams remain healthy and picturesque, and that they can still provide a home to our region’s wildlife. Additionally, the groups ensured that trash is eliminated before it reaches our local beaches and pollutes the ocean, protecting the health and well-being of beach-goers and marine life.
“It’s great to see volunteers coming out to support this effort to remove plastic garbage and litter from the creeks” said Rick Frickmann from the Urban Creeks Council, who helped implement the 2016 Goleta Creeks Clean-up Program. “It shows that our community really cares about streams and sends a message that watersheds are important resources to be valued and restored.”
Funding for EDC’s 2016 Goleta Creek Clean-up Program was generously provided by UCSB Coastal Fund, Union Bank and the Clif Bar Family Foundation. EDC’s other partners include The City of Goleta, Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council, UCSB Engineers without Borders, UCSB Fraternity Phi Sigma Pi, City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division, MarBorg Industries, Channel Islands Restoration, and Santa Barbara County Flood Control District. Without the funding and assistance from these incredible organizations, this program would not have been possible.
The Environmental Defense Center and our partners are beginning planning for the 2017 Goleta Creek Clean-Up Program.
The Environmental Defense Center, a non-profit law firm, protects and enhances the local environment through education, advocacy, and legal action and works primarily within Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. Since 1977, EDC has empowered community based organizations to advance environmental protection. Program areas include protecting coast and ocean resources, open spaces and wildlife, and human and environmental health. Learn more about EDC at www.EnvironmentalDefenseCenter.org