Wonky Wednesday: Gearing Up for a Clean-Up at Oakland’s Damon Slough

Trash washed up along the shoreline of Damon Slough

Here at Save The Bay, we have been excitedly planning our clean-up at Damon Slough this Saturday. Located in Oakland’s Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline, Damon Slough was the winner of our annual Bay Trash Hot Spots contest in 2011, beating out other trash-clogged waterways like San Jose’s Guadalupe River and Pulgas Creek in San Mateo County.

Those who visit this piece of the East Bay shoreline know that Damon Slough needs all the help it can get. This waterway is a challenging but hardly unique Bay Area landmark. With litter from the nearby Oakland Coliseum complex, a flea market and surrounding streets draining into this waterway, this sensitive slough is often inundated with trash.

All around our heavily built-out urban landscape, there are channelized and buried creeks and sloughs, where historically water would flow from the hills towards San Francisco Bay. Working at Save The Bay, I have become much more attuned to these often obscure yet interesting parts of our region’s neglected geography. The Oakland Museum of California has a great Creek Mapping Project that can help you find the buried creek in your neighborhood.

Here are some of the things we all can do to help reduce pollution in the Bay:

  • Reduce the amount of trash we generate and make sure our trash doesn’t end up in the Bay. Switch to reusable bags, recycle wherever possible and compost.
  • Advocate for tougher policies and regulations to reduce trash flowing to the Bay. Sign Save The Bay’s online petition calling on Bay Area mayors and city councils to pass legislation to target commonly littered items such as single-use bags and Styrofoam food ware.
  • Volunteer for one of Save The Bay’s monthly cleanup and restoration events.

– Stephen Knight, Political Director