Team 222 To Continue Watershed Clean-Up

The Clean Creeks Coalition is set to have its second Team 222 clean-up at the Los Gatos Creek and Guadalupe River this Saturday.

by Hannah Moore

July 8, 2015—The South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition (SBCCC) reached a landmark 100 tons of trash cleared out of Los Gatos Creek early last month. With another clean-up scheduled for July 11, that number is sure to continue to rise.

This Saturday, SBCCC’s Team 222 clean-up will focus efforts on clearing trash out of the Los Gatos Creek and Guadalupe River areas.

Team 222 volunteers participate for two hours every second Saturday of every second month. The idea for the Team came from SBCCC founder Steve Holmes.

“I was thinking ‘let’s see if people can volunteer for one hour a month,'” said Holmes. “I wanted to break volunteer need down to something simple, requiring one hour of support in effect monthly and (something that would be) easy to remember.”

The first Team 222 clean-up was held in July 2013.

SBCCC, formerly known as Friends of Los Gatos Creek, is a volunteer-driven effort to pick up the trash that builds up at Los Gatos Creek. The group has since evolved to include clean-ups at rivers and streams such as Guadalupe River and Coyote Creek, hence the all-encompassing name SBCCC.

Holmes estimated that 40 to 60 volunteers will pitch in at Team 222 this Saturday, but good progress is likely regardless.

“You don’t need a whole lot of people to get a whole lot of work done,” he said, adding that “kids need to be involved because they’re going to inherit this.”

Los Gatos Creek stretches 24 miles from the Santa Cruz Mountains to Santa Clara County and connects with the Guadalupe River. Garbage from encampments, freeways and storm drains threaten the well-being of Los Gatos Creek and other local watersheds. The amount of Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout spawning in these bodies of water has dropped from hundreds to dozens.

“Salmon are the kind of fish that can recharge and replenish their population,” said Holmes. “Given a clean river, their population could go up.”

The creek had its first beaver sighting in 150 years in February 2014, when Holmes captured a video of a medium-sized beaver. He had seen signs of the rodent in areas of Los Gatos and Campbell.

Holmes said he finds it “awesome” that the group has so many active volunteers—more than 500, to be exact.

“This is a shortage of national resources. They all need our help,” he said.

To RSVP for the July 11 clean-up, click here.