San Rafael, CA – Several agencies are working to clean up a 1,584-foot-long stretch of an unnamed tributary of Stemple Creek that was found to be a significant site of illegal dumping in West Marin.
Rusted debris is shown in a tributary of Stemple Creek.
The cleanup effort on August 13-16 will remove several discarded vehicles, home appliances, household furniture, over 100 tires, and other debris from the tributary. After the removal phase has been completed, the site will be stabilized and restored.
The project is being led by the Marin Resource Conservation District (MRCD) with the assistance of the Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (MCSTOPPP), as both agencies strive to protect the county’s waterways from pollution. MRCD secured a $40,000 state grant from CalRecycle’s Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement Grant Program to help fund the cleanup project.
Dumping trash and debris into local creeks and waterways is a detriment to the regional ecosystem and can eventually contribute to bay and coastal pollution.
“Our goal is to prevent stormwater pollution, as well as protect and enhance water quality in creeks and wetlands,” said Rob Carson, MCSTOPPP program administrator. “Dumping material off the side of the road, often into our local creeks, has terrible ecological consequences and seriously impacts Marin’s natural beauty for future generations.”
Additionally, MCSTOPPP and MRCD will work with the private landowner to implement surveillance monitoring of the tributary to prevent future illegal dumping. Other possible monitoring strategies are being planned for potential locations across the county to help protect against similar issues. MCSTOPPP is coordinating with the Marin County Sheriff’s Office and the Marin County District Attorney’s Office on enforcement against individuals found responsible of illegal dumping.
“While this multiagency effort is a significant accomplishment,” said Sarah Phillips, MRCD’s Urban Streams Manager, “it is important for people to understand the severity of illegal dumping and do their part to stop it from happening in the first place.”