Braving the heat on Saturday, June 26, the Watershed Stewards Program (WSP) student interns partnered with members of the California Conservation Corps, the Delta Fly Fisher organization, and City of Lodi staff for a cleanup project at Lodi Lake. While the public was not able to be included in the event due to California Conservation Corps COVID-19 restrictions, the day was still considered a success. The cleanup event not only marks the end of this year’s 10 month Water Shed Stewards Program, it also meets one of the requirements of the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Using the free Litterati app, event participants documented the trash and debris that was collected. Approximately 1100 pieces of garbage, weighing in at 50 pounds was picked up. The most interesting pieces of garbage were a large green rubber cartoon character and a single black sandal removed from the waterway. Trash of most significance were the 309 cigarette butts, and 4 fireworks that were also removed from the park area.
Also as part of the event, four fishing line receptacles, also known as fishing line recycling containers or disposal canisters, were installed around Lodi Lake at the Discovery Center, Dauber Dock, North lake bathroom, and near the entrance to the Lodi Lake Nature Area. Fishing line left on the ground by the fishing public often creates a safety hazard to the large population of water fowl in the area. The recycling containers will be emptied regularly by the Delta Fly Fishers and the plastic fishing line will be sent to a recycler for processing.
The Water Stewards Program (WSP) is operated out of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ office in Lodi and is dedicated to improving watershed health by actively engaging in restoration science, civic service, and community education while empowering the next generation of environmental stewards. The WSP has been operating for 27 years, but this is only the 2nd year it has been working from the USFWS office.
Local Lodi Unified School District student volunteers have been serving as WSP interns for 10 months. During the 2020-2021 school year, the interns have been attending Zoom sessions to learn about watershed stewardship principles and working in the field alongside U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) scientists conducting research in the Delta waterways. One intern was even interviewed by Mrs. McKilligan’s fourth grade class for the 2021 Mokelumne Current, a local news publication that focuses on the watershed. http://lodiwatershed.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/CURRENT_Page1_2021.pdf
The 2021-2022 Watershed Stewards Program will begin in October. Find more information about the watershed internship program: https://ccc.ca.gov/what-we-do/conservation-programs/watershed-stewards-program/
To learn more about the City of Lodi’s watershed program, visit: http://lodiwatershed.com/
To participate in the City of Lodi 2021 Clean Up Challenge, download the FREE Litterati app through the Apple App Store or Google. For more information about the Litterati app, visit: https://www.litterati.org/how-it-works. Participants can also learn how to use the app by watching the following step-by-step video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLm55ze-- dTjWkzlUqLRNXhusPGsurX5VU&v=2pugOUsHIv4