Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 2:49 am | Overcast 67º


Local News

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish in Goleta Creeks

CDC volunteer clean-up crews remove more than 3,700 pounds of trash from urban waterstreams

Glen Annie Creek clean-up was held during the summer.
Glen Annie Creek clean-up was held during the summer. (Brian Trautwein / Environmental Defense Center)

Over the past summer and fall months, teams of volunteers have been venturing into Goleta’s urban creeks in an effort to remove the vast amount of accumulated trash before winter rains wash it into the ocean and onto local beaches.

Led by the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), volunteers were able to remove an astounding 3,717 lbs. of trash from 10 local creeks.

After more than 270 hours of volunteer work, almost 2 tons of rubbish — full of plastic bags and water bottles, Styrofoam, derelict homeless shelters, shopping carts, batteries, car parts and even hazardous materials — are 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," said Brian Trautwein, EDC’s environmental analyst and watershed program coordinator.

"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," Trautwein said.
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.

Local creeks are often the first to bear the brunt of illegal dumping, street runoff and other sources of pollution. By removing trash from the 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.

Clean-up crews also ensured that trash is eliminated before it reaches 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,” he said.
Funding for EDC’s 2016 Goleta Creeks Clean-up Program was 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.
The Environmental Defense Center and its partners are beginning planning for the 2017 Goleta Creek Clean-Up Program.

— Betsy Weber for the Environmental Defense Center.


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