San Lorenzo Earth Team

Heron Bay – Maintaining a Beautiful Landscape


Last week, our SLZ interns made their way to Heron Bay in San Leandro to participate in a litter clean up by the shoreline. We were happy to be led by Amy Evans of the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, who gave us a brief history of the area then helped us pick up litter.

Heron Bay is a housing community and marshland situated at the end of Lewelling Blvd., only about 10 minutes from San Lorenzo High’s campus. There are beautiful walking paths that wind through the marshlands and near the shoreline and connect as part of the Bay Trail. As we walked along the path, students took note of wildlife in the area, including egrets and feral cats.

When we reached the shoreline, students split into groups with gloves, trash grabbers, trash bags, and ipads to record our data using an app called the Marine Debris Tracker. The app allows you to record type and GPS location of all trash, which is then uploaded to our own website and map.

In about an hour, we collected 624 pieces of trash! Unsurprisingly, 75% of the total trash we cleaned up was plastic materials. (**Plastics contain toxic materials, are unable to biodegrade, and pose a strong threat to wildlife, who often eat the materials thinking the are food.**) On the pie chart below, you can see the breakdown of different trash categories:

Check out our more detailed map HERE!

By participating in the clean up, interns learned that not only is it satisfying to pick up trash, but it’s also FUN! Here are some things they had to say about the day:

It’s really nice knowing that you’re able to make a place more beautiful. It surprised me that new waves of trash wash up every time.                                – Tony Vuong

I really enjoyed going to Heron Bay. It was a fun experience. I was surprised to have seen all the trash that our shore is surrounded by.                              – Ariana Umildad

I wasn’t very surprised about the fact that there was a lot of trash. It’ kind of disappointing because you would expect people to be better            – Akiyah Jones

Lastly, we want to give a big thanks to Amy Evans for inviting us to work with her and providing inspiration to our interns in such a beautiful location!

Thanks for reading!