Youth & Government Group Cleans Shoreline


Mariel Rossi deVries, staff writer

Members of Youth and Government (Y&G) gathered at the Richmond shoreline for a day of environmental cleanup on September 19.

Every year volunteers from all over the Bay Area join together and rid the shoreline of trash that is stuck between rocks and on the beaches. The goal is to keep litter, such as plastic, from entering the Bay and poisoning the animals indigenous to the area.

Youth and Government participates in the coastal clean day annually. The intent is to provide service, but to also allow students “to bond as a delegation” said Y&G vice president Valerie Rockwell.

Community service is an important aspect of the Y&G program. “We thought it was important to clean the coast and while we were at the coast we all bonded,” said president Erica Wilson.

Rockwell said, “We are bettering the community and wanting to make a difference.”

Over the years the annual clean up has become more focused on making trash pick up fun for the volunteers with the addition of competitions. Each group splits into divisions of 2-3 people and each is given a sheet to catalog the trash they pick up. The group that collects the most trash by the end of the day wins coupons to Togos!

Volunteers gathered considerable amounts of trash from the shore, though the temperature reached into the upper 80’s.

Junior delegate Jessica Sanborn was shocked at “how much trash there actually was on the beaches.” The shoreline is littered with cigarette lighters, used needles, and discarded kids’ toys.

On the sand close to the water, Anthony and Everett Kim uncovered an ornately decorated wooden box. Upon closer inspection, they noticed the lid held a plaque with Vietnamese writing on it dating back to 1897. When the two regrouped with the rest of the delegations, they came to the conclusion that it was an urn which once held the remains of a deceased ancestor. Kim said that of all the things they picked up at the beach, “this was the most interesting.”

Overall, thousands of pieces of trash were safely removed from the shoreline.