Battle for the Bay, a competition between the mayors of three Bay Area cities to protect and clean the waterfront through increased volunteerism, concluded with record numbers of volunteers, trash picked up and beautification projects completed.
The three cities turned out nearly 6,400 volunteers who picked up more than 200,000 pounds of trash in just one morning.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San José Mayor Sam Liccardo joined together to increase volunteer turnout for the California Coastal Commission’s annual Coastal Cleanup Day. In addition to major cleaning and greening projects throughout the three cities, the initiative raised awareness about the problem of marine debris, while promoting programs to prevent littering and illegal dumping.
Oakland, San José, and San Francisco competed to make the most impactful cleanups measured by volunteer turnout, amount of debris removed, geographic area cleaned, beautification projects and most unusual object found by a volunteer. The initiative resulted in:
- Number of volunteers
- San Francisco: 3,011
- Oakland: 2,170
- San José: 1,311
- Amount of trash picked up
- Oakland: 109,460 pounds
- San Francisco: 70,163 pounds
- San José: 36,414 pounds
- Number of Miles of Coastline Cleaned (estimated)
- San Francisco: 46 miles
- San José: 23.95 miles
- Oakland: 11 miles
- Most Unusual Object found
- Oakland - A statue of Vishnu found along the banks of Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland
Other projects included trash removal, habitat restoration, and tree plantings. Mayor Liccardo participated at Coyote Creek in San José, Mayor Breed participated at San Francisco’s Islais Creek Park, and Mayor Schaaf participated at Oakland’s Channel Park and Permain Street.
“The Battle for the Bay was a huge success with thousands of volunteers throughout the Bay Area cleaning up our neighborhoods and coastal areas,” said Mayor Breed. “I am thrilled that San Francisco turned out the most volunteers. But we know this wasn’t just about one day. All year round, we are engaging our residents, linking people up with opportunities to help keep our City clean, and investing in a clean and green City. I thank Mayor Schaaf, Mayor Liccardo and all of our partners – and a special thank you to all of the volunteers!”
“Battle for the Bay proved what Oaklanders in every neighborhood already know: that our neighbors are the most determined and inspiring people you’ll find anywhere in the world, and that when we set our minds and our hands to a common goal we make incredible things happen,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “But our vision goes beyond any one event — every day somewhere in Oakland, our community is doing something to make our home more beautiful and clean. We’re here to support that work, and we’re encouraging every resident to be Oaktown PROUD -- Prevent and Report Oakland’s Unlawful Dumping. With true partnership between our City and our community, our cities’ year-round strategies to clean and beautify neighborhoods and waterways will turn the tide on trash.”
“We’re thrilled to have participated in this year’s Battle for the Bay – where we joined with thousands of volunteers across all three cities to clean more than 36,000 pounds of debris from our city and waterways,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I’m thankful we came together to celebrate this weekend’s real winner: our coast and our bay.”
The tri-city event drew major support from sponsors, including Recology, Alaska Airlines, Waste Management of Alameda County, Argent Materials, California Waste Solutions, Andes Construction, DeSilva Gates Construction donating on behalf of Cypress Mandela, Ray’s Electric, Clear Channel, Webcor, the Emerald Fund, the Warriors, and Black and Veatch.
Event partners included the California Coastal Commission, Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation, San Francisco Public Works, Oakland Public Works, San José Public Works, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Port of San Francisco, Caltrans, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the National Park Service, the Presidio Trust, Santa Clara Valley Water, Creek Connections Action Group and California State Parks.
The challenge, dubbed Battle for the Bay, was in honor of the 30th anniversary of the 1989 “Battle of the Bay” Major League Baseball World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s. It also marked the 20th anniversary of a similar cleaning and greening competition between then-San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and then-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown.
As for the highly-touted wager among mayors, an unprecedented three-way win was declared. To promote volunteering, community service, and sportsmanship, the mayors all agreed to perform a day of service in visiting cities while wearing the hometown’s sports gear. Date and locations to be determined.