You can protect the Bay from trash

Take Action to Stop Trash in the Bay

trashSan Francisco Bay needs your help. Trash is a serious pollution problem for the Bay, and this year we’re seeing a big uptick in disposable waste and plastics littering sidewalks and shorelines.

Baykeeper is asking supporters to take action while staying safe. By cleaning up in your own neighborhoods and nearby parks and shorelines, you can stop this trash before it reaches the Bay.

Plus, we have an easy-to-use mobile app where you can tell us how much and what kinds of trash you collect. This sampling data helps Baykeeper advocate for stronger trash protections for the Bay.

Will you pledge to collect actionable trash data for San Francisco Baykeeper?

Guidelines for a Safe Trash Cleanup

1. Where: Choose a Bay shoreline, beach, creek, park, storm drain, or city street near you. Make sure your cleanup location is open to the public and away from large crowds. 

Note that since these cleanups are self-directed, you will be responsible for disposing of the trash at your residence.
2. Why: Trash pollution has gotten worse during the pandemic due to a sharp increase in the use of plastic bags, takeout containers, and other single-use items, like gloves and masks. Now more than ever, it’s essential for us to monitor these increases and fight the rising tide of trash pollution.

3. How to track my trash: Install The Water Reporter app—for iPhone or Android—and follow San Francisco Baykeeper.

If you don't have a smartphone, you can use the desktop version of The Water Reporter.

By following San Francisco Baykeeper you can share before and after cleanup photos and collect critical data to help Baykeeper's advocacy efforts.   

4. What to plan for your cleanup kit:  

  • Face mask, gloves, and plenty of hand sanitizer
  • Grabbers or tongs
  • Sturdy trash bags 
  • Snacks and plenty of water
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses and/or a hat
  • Sturdy close-toed shoes and clothes you don't mind getting dirty

5. Important safety precautions:  

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Stay home if air quality is too poor for outside activity
  • Don't touch discarded PPE (masks, gloves) without a grabber or tongs
  • Don't pick up syringes or other sharp objects, dead animals, or human waste
  • Separate hazardous waste like batteries and paint, and take them to a hazardous waste dropoff center 
  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people outside your household
  • Wear a mask and gloves
  • Dispose of or wash your gloves and thoroughly wash/sanitize your hands after the cleanup
  • For detailed instructions on protecting yourself and your family from COVID-19, refer to CDC guidelines.

Below is a map of some of our favorite cleanup locations. Please make sure to check if your chosen location is open to the public before heading to your cleanup site. Depending on the timing, some parks and shoreline areas may not be accessible due to wildfires or COVID-19. 

If you have questions, please email

Liability waiver: By participating you understand and agree that neither San Francisco Baykeeper nor associated jurisdictions may be held liable or responsible in any way for any injury, death, or other damages to you or your family, heirs, or assigns that may occur as a result of your participation, or as a result of product liability or the negligence, whether passive or active, of any party in connection with the cleanups.