Near where I live is a nook of the San Francisco Bay called Albany Bulb. The area is well known to dog owners who are able to let dogs run free and splash in the low waves in a part of the shore facing west toward San Francisco and Marin County.
The Bulb is also a nice place to catch a sunset, see a variety of shore birds, view the Golden Gate Bridge, or spot some innovative installations of outdoor art along its sandy trail edges.
Last Saturday, my two youngest kids and I came out to the area for the Coastal Cleanup effort happening all over the country, and in many other Bay Area locations, to pick up trash and debris along the shore. Among several volunteers, schools and organizations, we came across pounds of cigarette butts, plastic bags, Styrofoam, bottles, cans, and many other non-native objects over the two hours we were there.
While a lot of the debris we saw appeared to be deposited at the beach, a significant amount likely traveled from our streets as tossed trash that finds its way into gutters and drains. And it was nice to teach my kids in a concrete way where trash carelessly discarded can end up, and the impact it has on our shores and the wildlife who live there.
Learn more about this event and results of the effort by clicking HERE