Cleanup of Meeker Slough in Marina Bay called true community effort

$3M litter solution for Meeker's Slough
Meeker's Slough near Regatta Boulevard in Richmond's Marina Bay neighborhood.

A community effort to address accumulated trash in Meeker Slough in Richmond’s Marina Bay neighborhood began with a resident’s complaint to Mayor Tom Butt.

A Richmond resident had warned the mayor that “the situation in Meeker Slough is disgusting.” That statement, according to the Mayor’s Office, prompted a collaborative effort to address the trash problem in the coastal waterway located between the Marina Bay neighborhood and the UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station.

The mitigation effort, launched in January by Mayor Butt and Richmond Public Works Director Yader Bermudez, led to the determination that some of the trash and debris was flowing in from storm drains on city streets. To prevent that, the city arranged to install trash booms and nets to capture the litter. In addition, three cleanup days were scheduled, with more than 40 volunteers taking part at a recent event.

Large amounts of plastic bags, Styrofoam cups, straws and various household items totaling 900 pounds of trash have been collected, according to The Watershed Project, a group aiding in the effort. One more cleanup day is expected by the end of this month, according to the Mayor’s Office.

The mayor is touting the response as a true community effort. Volunteers have included local residents, the Watershed Project and UC Berkeley students.

“As a city, we are constantly abating litter and illegal dumping in nearly every part of town,” Mayor Butt said in a statement Thursday. “Between Code Enforcement, Public Works, and a large number of committed community groups, we do a great job of clearing out trash, but anyone you ask will tell you that the only way we stay on top of this is when neighbors and volunteers step up to make it happen.”



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