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Arroyo Earth Team’s “At-Home” Litter Cleanup

Arroyo High's Earth Team picks up litter in their communities.
Two team members at the beginning of a litter cleanup!

For Arroyo High’s Earth Team, working from home has provided a few unexpected benefits. For example, in the month of January, interns were tasked with picking up litter in their communities and the team was able to cover a lot more ground because all of the students live in different areas. This decentralized approach yielded 792 pieces of litter picked up around San Lorenzo. 

A map of creeks and high-priority litter sites in the area around Arroyo High.

Some students decided to pick up trash in the areas immediately around their houses. Others decided to enjoy the various parks the East Bay has to offer and picked up trash there. No matter where they were, though, they remained focused on protecting watersheds, focusing their attention on areas near storm drains or creeks. 

A screenshot from one student’s Marine Debris Tracker App.

The teams used NOAA’s Marine Debris Tracker App to log the litter they were picking up. The app allows our interns to select what types of litter they are picking up and where they are as well. This data contributes to an international effort to track where our litter ends up in order to better plan for future cleanups and maximize the effectiveness of various litter management strategies. 

A screenshot of East Bay litter cleanups from Zerolitter.org

The teams were excited to have an excuse to get outside, but above all, they were excited to clean up our streets, parks, and waterways. Our team has spent a lot of time discussing litter and its various impacts, so it was good to be able to get out and put our discussions into work. For more info on what Earth Team picked up and where, check our zerolitter.org, Earth Team’s own litter map of the East Bay! As the semester progresses, expect more news on cleanups and other work being done by Earth Team all around the East Bay!

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