SCVWD Litterati™ Pollution Prevention Project

CVWD Litterati™ Pollution Prevention ProjectThe Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR Clean up was the first project in the Refuge Complex to embed technology into a litter cleanup program and was funded by a Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) Project B3, Pollution Prevention grant in 2016. The Watershed Watchers Coordinator for San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society oversaw this project and partnered with San Jose Conservation Corps, Litterati, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Santa Clara Valley Water District. Funding was also provided in part by Clean Harbors Environmental Services, San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, and Whole Foods Market - through their Nickels for Non-Profits program. We appreciate their generous support.

The purpose of the SCVWD Litterati™ Pollution Prevention Project is to prevent trash found in the Refuge from entering the local watershed system, and educate the public on pollution prevention utilizing a new technique in the way litter cleanups are conducted. The project involved using an app called Litterati to collect information on the trash found at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso, CA. The project team took photos using the Litterati app, wrote hashtags describing the type of trash photographed, and uploaded the photos to the Litterati database. This data has been collected since September 2016 by the Watershed Watchers team. It will be used by the Refuge and the Litterati team to educate companies and the public, with the goal of reducing the amount of trash entering our ecosystems.

This project has collected over 12,600 photos and removed over 2.7 tons of trash as of June 8th, 2017. Over 4,000 people have participated in this project including school, restoration, and corporate volunteer groups, as well as educating the public at outreach events. Collecting trash using the Litterati app will soon be introduced as a citizen science project within the Watershed Watchers program. There will also be a display coming soon to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Environmental Education Center identifying the effects of trash on our local habitats.

This is an ongoing project being managed by the Watershed Watchers program, so check back to see our progress! If you are interested in getting involved with this project contact the Watershed Watchers Program Coordinator, Hope Presley, at watchershedwatchers@sfbws.com or call 408-262-5513 ext. 104.

San Jose Conservation Corps cleaning up various ponds and levees in the south San Francisco Bay as part of the Litterati project. Credit Olivia Andrus.

San Jose Conservation Corps cleaning up various ponds and levees in the south San Francisco Bay as part of the Litterati project. Credit Olivia Andrus.

San Jose Conservation Corps cleaning up various ponds and levees in the south San Francisco Bay as part of the Litterati project. Credit Olivia Andrus.

San Jose Conservation Corps cleaning up various ponds and levees in the south San Francisco Bay as part of the Litterati project. Credit Olivia Andrus.

6th Grade class students at Merryhill Middle School collecting trash for the Litterati project. Credit Olivia Andrus.

6th Grade class students at Merryhill Middle School collecting trash for the Litterati project. Credit Olivia Andrus.