For three consecutive years, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) has hosted a cleanup event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline Regional Park in Oakland, California. The shoreline park is a restored wetland and a public recreation space set amidst a densely populated urban area. Trash from littering and from the tides builds up along the shoreline, adversely impacting the park’s beauty and its function as habitat for local wildlife.
In 2019, over 130 EBMUD staff and their friends and family volunteered for the Coastal Cleanup event. The event is hosted in partnership with the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD), and is connected to the statewide, national, and international efforts that make Coastal Cleanup Day the world’s largest volunteer day. The two agencies provide volunteers with coffee, snacks, trash bags, gloves, and buckets. EBMUD staff, their families, friends, and other members of the community volunteer to pick up trash along the shoreline while also learning about pollution prevention and connecting with their colleagues and community members.
The core values of EBMUD are Stewardship, Integrity, Respect, and Teamwork. The Coastal Cleanup event embodies those values: Stewardship in caring for our environment, Integrity in taking ownership and cleaning up the shoreline, Respect in volunteering alongside the community, and Teamwork in partnering with others to accomplish a shared goal.
For its community outreach efforts, EBMUD was recognized with a National Environmental Achievement Award in the Public Service category during NACWA's Winter Conference in February 2020. Congratulations to EBMUD and everyone involved!