Street trash washed into Lake Merritt, Oakland CA 16 November, 2017

Click the words above “Street trash washed into Lake Merritt…” to see this entire post.

Having learned that it is much more useful to stop the flow of trash into the ocean than it is to walk the shore picking up after everyone else, I’ve been visiting Lake Merritt in Oakland the past few years to try to turn off that trash tap.

If you’ve ever visited Oakland, you’ve seen, among other things, people living everywhere – on sidewalks, under bridges, in bushes along the roads, all around Lake Merritt. You’ve also seen streets and waterways filled with trash – EVERYWHERE.

I learned what happens during the first big rain event of each season, as well as that there are 62 storm drains carrying water (and everything else) from the streets of downtown Oakland into Lake Merritt (actually an estuary, connected to SF Bay). See what I saw on my first visit in October of 2016 here.

People play, boat, swim, defecate, urinate, bath, shave in Lake Merritt. Birds and fish live and feed in Lake Merritt. A very sad situation.

Today I read in a local paper of the latest effort to help these people living in horrid conditions off the street and into permanent housing. Read about that here.

Instead of chasing homeless people from camp to camp, city to city, it seems to me to make more sense that all the different cities, Caltrans, BART, Union Pacific etc. work together, share the cost and make a long term commitment to help these folks find a safer place to live that is not so damaging to the environment.

At the rate we are destroying our oceans with our plastic and other trash, WE MUST stop polluting the sea. This problem will not go away simply by pushing it in to some other person’s view.

I am working to connect the above mentioned groups and encourage them to work together to develop a long-term, regional solution.

Below you can see what Lake Merritt looked like on the “first flush” of 2017.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version. Please contact me if you wish to use any of my images in any way.

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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How many needles can you count?

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Ducks feed in Lake Merritt, amongst so much trash and human feces.

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Coots feeding amongst street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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How many needles can you count?

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Cormorants feed in Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Coots feeding amongst street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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Street trash washed into Lake Merritt on 16 November, 2017

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