Waste to be Removed From San Diego Riverbed

December 14, 2017

By Ana Gomez Salcido

As part of an expanded effort to clean up the San Diego River, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer has ordered City crews to conduct twice-a-week abatement rounds in an aggressive campaign that will remove tons of waste and debris from one of San Diego’s most precious natural resources.

Faulconer, City Councilmember Scott Sherman, and San Diego River Park Foundation President Rob Hutsel gathered on Wednesday to highlight the massive cleanup effort underway along the riverbed.

Following cleanup efforts by City crews earlier this year that removed more than 66 tons of trash from the riverbed, Faulconer directed City staff to identify problem areas along the river and a plan to address them on an ongoing basis. So far, crews have already removed more than 10 tons in just four days of cleanup activity.

“This aggressive cleanup is all about restoring one of San Diego’s most beloved natural resources,” Faulconer said. “We need to take this action to remove significant trash and other debris that has accumulated along the San Diego River. This will be a prolonged and sustained effort to return the riverbed to pristine condition and make sure we keep it that way for many years to come.”

Wednesday’s abatement focused on the Friars Road underpass in the Grantville neighborhood that is considered one of most problematic areas along the river as a result of several homeless encampments. It’s also one of the least accessible sites and requires City crews to haul trash out of the riverbed via a pulley system because of the harsh terrain.

“The San Diego River was my playground as a child,” said Councilmember Sherman. “The sensitive ecosystem helped me develop a strong love for the outdoors that I still cherish today. This massive and ongoing cleanup will help restore the river to a precious natural resource that I remember from my youth.”

The city began this expanded waste and abatement effort last month. Crews will be working to clean 78 identified locations along the river every Tuesday and Wednesday over the next several months.

According to City officials, private property owners own some of the identified sites, and the City is reaching out to each to coordinate cleanup efforts. Some of the areas that are part of the City’s cleanup efforts include: Dog Beach, Ocean Beach, Mission Bay Park, Mission Valley Preserve, Sefton Park, Fashion Valley, Qualcomm Way, SDCCU Stadium area, and Grantville.

The City’s efforts are being held in conjunction with the ongoing cleanup activities undertaken by the River Park Foundation.

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