Volunteers Hope to Improve Delta’s Water Quality With Cleanup Event

STOCKTON -- Dozens of volunteers spent hours pulling thousands of pounds of garbage from the Delta on Saturday.

"I live on the Smith Canal here and I've seen the trash just floating up and down you know," volunteer Dean Komure said.

The volunteers were on a mission to clean up the Smith Canal as part of the San Joaquin Delta Neighborhood Watch's Coastal Cleanup Day.

Their goal is to help improve the Delta's poor water quality.

"Family members, kids, people just came out to help and have a positive impact on our waterways and the Delta," San Joaquin County District 3 supervisor Tom Patti said. "Today was outstanding."

Patti donated his crane to lift heavy items from the water.

"We're pulling out water heaters, we're pulling out just garbage, bicycles, wheelchairs, things that's just been thrown in there. Basically you throw a grappling hook and you're going to come up with something at the bottom of the Delta,"  Patti said.

Hundreds of shopping carts sat in piles along the levee, before being collected and hauled off.

"A lot of the stuff that's in here, people are dumping and then the homeless go through it," Komure said.

Everything from reclining chairs, couch cushions, tires and even a pool were pulled from the water.

"This hasn't happened for quite a while so there's a stockpile of filth and blight and just waste that's been thrown in there," Patti explained.

He said it was an all hands on deck community effort to help.

While some volunteers say every little bit helps, others aren't so optimistic the Smith Canal will stay clean.

"I think in a couple weeks it will be dirty again," Komure said.

For more information on how you can help cleanup the Delta, CLICK HERE.

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