Successful Lake Clean Ups
Since September, ECOSLO, in partnership with San Luis Obispo County Parks, has coordinated four very successful lake clean ups, which have removed a total of over 740 pounds of trash. The fourth clean up will be this Saturday at Lopez Lake from 9am to noon.
The first clean up was part of Coastal Cleanup Day, on September 20th. Ranger Wemple at Lopez Lake contacted ECOSLO to join the event because he had noticed a large amount litter had accumulated on the dry parts of the lake bed and shoreline. Five volunteers assisted that day to remove over 80 pounds of trash and recyclables from the land adjacent to the lake. With every clean up since, ECOSLO has been joined by more volunteers who have been able to remove a greater amount of litter. On October 25th, twelve volunteers cleaned up over 300 pounds of trash and recyclables from Lopez Lake, and on November 15th, 35 people helped to remove over 360 pounds of litter from Santa Margarita Lake.
One Positive Aspect to the Drought
Our county’s lack of rain has caused the lakes to decrease dramatically in size. Lopez is currently at 42 percent capacity. The silver lining is the opportunity to gain greater access to the lake bed to remove litter that has been stuck in the mud for years. It is important to remove all the debris before too much rainfall carries the litter back into the lake. When such debris is left in the natural environment, it is eaten by wildlife such as fish, birds, and deer, and which is incredibly harmful to the animals.
Another concern is that plastic degrades in the sun and cracks into many tiny pieces when touched, making it impossible to remove completely. The plastic pieces get smaller, they do not disappear, and the plastic continues to exist in the environment through the soil and the water.
Join Us Saturday for the Next Lake Clean Up
Interested volunteers do not need to register for Saturday’s event. Meet ECOSLO at the Lopez Lake Marina at 9:00AM. Please wear sturdy shoes, as there will likely be mud after this week’s rain. All supplies will be provided.
ECOSLO and SLO County Parks are hoping to have an opportunity to continue these lake clean ups in the near future. Call ECOSLO at 544-1777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.