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UC Berkeley

Water Pollution Resulting from Homeless Encampments in Creeks: Programs in Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and San Pablo

  • Author(s): Doerschlag, Isabelle
  • et al.

The purpose of this research is to provide a holistic snapshot of how different Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and San Pablo monitoring and mitigating water quality issues posed by tent encampments in waterways. For Sacramento, a look into the “Mile Stewards” Program illustrates one effective effort for removing debris from the American River Parkway. In Santa Cruz, the Downtown Streets Team incorporates people experiencing homelessness into their organizational model, which provides the people a sense of purpose and helps keep the banks of the San Lorenzo River clean. In San Pablo, there are ongoing trash removal efforts at both a city level through volunteer and city employee support and at a county level through CORE Creeks. All three cities are on the path to incorporating necessary social programs with environmental protection to work with people experiencing homelessness and tackle water quality issues resulting from tent encampments in the riparian corridor.

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