AB&I Team Volunteers for Lake Merritt Clean-Up
November 4, 2013
Team Members from AB&I Foundry in Oakland, California partnered with the Lake Merritt Institute on October 22 for a clean-up day at Lake Merritt. Lake Merritt is a tidal estuary, which formed thousands of years ago when the last ice age ended, but has been extensively modified by people in the last 150 years. It is flushed twice daily by the six hour cycle of high and low tidal flows and receives water from 62 storm drain outfalls around the lake. It is the nation’s oldest wildlife refuge and home to thousands of shrimp, fish, clams, crabs, sponges, copepods, tubeworms, tunicates, geese, ducks, songbirds, raptors, gulls, grebes, herons, pelicans, fox squirrels, opossum, an occasional deer a few turkey, and people.
The Institute depends on volunteers to clean up the shoreline. In fact, volunteers have been removing 1,000 to 6,000 pounds of trash from the lake every month which is caused by urban runoff which is the biggest source of water pollution.
AB&I Team Members Mike Olvera, Monica Perez, Pauline Aragon, Carlos Gonzalez and Zeydi Gutierrez met with Dr. Charles Bailey, Executive Director of the Lake Merritt Institute, to come up with a plan of action. The team then put on their gloves, grabbed their nets and began removing trash from the shoreline and scooping debris out of the lake. They removed items such as plastic bags, plastic containers, a jacket, a blanket, lipstick and many other things.
Pedestrians walking or jogging alongside the lake during the clean-up stopped to thank them for the work they were doing. The team was proud of what they were able to accomplish in just one day and plan to return to Lake Merritt again in the future.