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The Planet Thanks California Coastal Cleanup Teams

Tony Johnson, whose name appears on our West Coast Circumnavigators list, wrote in to say that after lapping the planet from 2001 to 2003 with Terry Shrode aboard the Ericson 39 Maverick, he spent last weekend with friends cleaning up the planet instead.

“Dear Latitude, The mighty Brooks Island Plastic Pickers assembled last Saturday, September 16, on International Coastal Cleanup Day, to gather trash. These were folks from the Tradewinds Sailing School and Club and their friends. It’s the third year we’ve done it, and it never fails to be a very fun time. Volunteering to do dirty manual labor for the good of our planet — for no pay — is not the kind of activity that attracts schmucks, and we have nothing but amiable heroes among us.”

Brooks Island
Brooks Island, the inconspicuous lump off Richmond, hides a fascinating history. Graphic shows where we cleaned up this year (black oval), and in years past (green oval). In the green oval, you see the scar created at the area where rock was quarried to create Treasure Island, San Quentin State Prison, and the breakwater for Potrero Reach. The 373-acre Brooks Island is now a regional preserve and sanctuary to over 18 species of birds. It’s also something of a benchmark for windsurfers and wingers sailing out of Point Isabel. If you’ve made it to the “back side” of Brooks, then you’re having a good day!
© 2023 Tony Johnson

“Speaking of schmucks, this is a Yiddish word, and that weekend was Rosh Hashanah. To honor this, California decided to move its state coastal cleanup day to Saturday, the 23rd (tomorrow). It’s not that we’re insensitive louts, or maybe we are, but the problem is that the tides do not recognize religious calendars, and next week we would not have been able to reach the island. So we went with the international date.“Thanks to Tradewinds, to Matt Allen (the island’s caretaker), and to East Bay Parks and Recreation, the stewards of the island, for giving its permission.”

Tradewinds Sailing Center - Brooks Island
Rachel Angulo holding selfie cam; Standing: Caretaker Matt Allen gesturing to the trash; Dale Myers, Dan Tancredi, and Bruce Dayton Riter; Stooped: Shari Generaux and Laurel Beckett; Kneeling: Julie Myers, Colin Trevor, Tony Johnson and Chris Owczarek; In front with shades: Jennifer Foote.
© 2023 Rachel Angulo

If you want to join the “do-gooding non-schmucks” who cleaned up Brooks Island last weekend with a good deed tomorrow, you can find a place to join another cleanup during the California Coastal Cleanup here.

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