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Corte Madera Creek Sees Little Impact From Tsunami So Far

California Coastal Cleanup Day brings out volunteers from Dominican, San Domenico to pick up shopping carts, bottles and more trash.

No Japanese cars, no fishing boats, no homes were found in the Corte Madera Creek Watershed during Saturday's Coastal Cleanup Day.

More than 5 tons of debris was washed out to sea during the tsunami that hit the north coast of Japan in 2011. Some of the debris, including oil drums, buoys, even a Harley-Davidson motorcycle still in a crate, have reportedly hit North America's Pacific Coast already, but that's just the first wave. The bulk of the waste is expected to reach the Pacific shores in October, according to experts.

Marin County organizers of Saturday's cleanup effort stressed that volunteers shouldn't expect to find large chunks of debris washed up in Marin, at least not yet.

"Scientists want us to report anything that might have washed up from Japan. The tsunami washed up a lot of traceable material," said Laurie Williams of the Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.

The Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed got some help from athletes at Dominican University, San Domenico students, local Boy Scouts and others cleaning up a two-mile stretch between Larkspur Landing and the Bon Air Bridge.

Did you volunteer? Share your photos and experiences from Coastal Cleanup Day here or on Facebook.

Volunteers found large pieces of industrial styrofoam, jugs, wooden planks, plastic bottles and shopping carts. It was an ugly mess of garbage piled up in the Golden Gate Ferry Terminal parking lot in plastic bags. Some of the garbage could be repurposed to create a piece of artwork, according to Williams.

"A lot of wind-blown stuff washes up from the tide," Williams said. "There's plenty of plastic and other garbage."

In 2010, more than 82,500 volunteers removed more than 1.2 million pounds of trash and recyclables from California beaches, lakes, and waterways, according to the Bay Model website.

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Haggis September 16, 2012 at 01:35 AM
It's hard to imagine there could still be debris from 2011, but the imagination pales before the power of that earthquake.
GAFlynn September 16, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Looks like a bunch of nasty stuff collected. I saw volunteers working behind the Village and around the "Bird Park"--Thank you to all.
Jana Haehl September 16, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Corte Madera Community Foundation led the cleanup of Muzzi Marsh, Shoreline Park (aka "Bird Park") and San Clemente Creek on Coastal Cleanup Day, assisted by Boy Scout Troop 24 and Marin Karate Kids.
Derek Wilson September 16, 2012 at 05:38 PM
The Corte Madera Community Foundation does so much great work and this is just one example. You all are amazing!
Tracy September 16, 2012 at 06:32 PM
It's amazing how much trash is out there. And one wonders where it all came from.
Rocky September 16, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Thanks to all the volunteers who participated in Coastal Cleanup Day. Every little bit counts toward the big picture of taking care of the planet.
Robert Bundy September 17, 2012 at 12:16 AM
The Corte Madera Community Foundation and Marin Karate Kids cleared out several abandoned homeless sites on the Corte Madera Bayfront. Troop 24 was responsible for hauling out five pickup loads of burned tents, tarps and matresses as well as a hideabed that had been dumped behind Cost Plus. Corte Madera Public Works provided gloves and buckets. Everyone used 5 gallon buckets so there was no additional plastic in the dumpster provided by Mill Valley Refuse Services.

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