(KTSF by Jessie Liang)
The EPA and The City of San Jose launch the “Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities” pilot program to highlight a significant pollution problem impacting San Francisco Bay. The program will be aimed at reducing pollution and improving water quality along a three mile stretch of Coyote Creek. The program will employ and assist the homeless, deter dumping and littering, and engage neighbors as creek stewards along San Jose’s Coyote Creek.
Elaine Marshall from the City of San Jose Environmental Services, says, “The trash is definitely harming the wildlife and the animals that live here. And the other important thing is it also continues to run downstream. So the trash eventually would make its way to San Francisco bay and into the ocean where also it harms wildlife.”
Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, says, “We really want to see how we can work with the population that is homeless and has many other social needs. How they can be brought into becoming environmental stewards. Hasn’t been tried anywhere else in the country.”
The Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities project seeks to:
1. Engage with targeted communities to expand their role as stewards of Coyote Creek.
2. Work with community organizations to implement effective, innovative methods to engage the homeless in removing trash from Coyote Creek by supplying incentives, training, and a path out of homelessness for up to 50 individuals.
3. Implement a plan to prevent illegal dumping.
There’s a volunteer cleanup day on Saturday, Sept 17th from 9AM to Noon. The clean up locations are all over the Bay Area, including some along Coyote Creek. Interested residents can go to www.cleanacreek.org for South Bay locations or www.coast4u.org for locations all over California.
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