The conservation group Save the Bay released its annual list of regional “trash hotspots.” Executive director David Lewis said it’s important to understand HOW the garbage winds up in our waterways…from city streets.

“Most people don’t know that storm drains are not screened,” Lewis says. “That water doesn’t go to a sewage treatment plant. It goes right to the nearest creek and out into the Bay. So when trash ends up on the roads, it ends up in the Bay.”

And, according to the organization, these are five of the trashiest gateways to the Bay:


View Bay Area Trash Hot Spots in a larger map

Is one of these spots near your town? Close to your heart? If you vote for it here, Save the Bay could decide to adopt it this Saturday for Coastal Cleanup Day. [UPDATE: In fact, I've learned that Save the Bay is actually committing to hosting cleanups at the winning hot spot throughout 2012. The contest is live until October 14. This weekend Save the Bay will be hosting cleanups at three spots including Redwood Creek, which won the “Adopt a Spot” contest last year.]

Coastal Cleanup Day is being held all around California this Saturday from 9 AM – noon. Even inland counties get involved since the rivers feed the coast. You can look up cleanup projects by county here.

And the San Jose Mercury News highlighted this handy list in some nearby communities:

# In Berkeley, volunteers should register between 9 and 10:30 a.m. in the dirt lot behind the Sea Breeze Market and Deli, at West Frontage Road and University Avenue. The cleanup will be at the mouth of three creeks, along the east shoreline and around the Berkeley Marina. Groups of 10 or more must preregister by calling 510-981-6720.

# In Richmond, the Watershed Project will be fighting marine debris on land with walking crews and from the water with a kayak cleanup crew called the Flotsam Flotilla. Organizers are looking for 15 experienced kayakers to join the team. Anyone interested is asked to call 510-665-3430. Volunteers should meet at 9 a.m. at the Richmond Shoreline at Shimada Friendship Park. A barbecue lunch will follow. For more information, call 510-665-3430.

# In Emeryville, volunteers are asked to arrive at 9 a.m. at the fire station, 2333 Powell St.

# In Albany, volunteers will meet at 8:30 a.m. at Albany Beach by the foot of Buchanan Street.

# In San Leandro, a shoreline cleanup will be held from 8 a.m. to noon. Volunteers should meet either at the Monarch Bay Drive Bridge at the end of Marina Park, or at the Heron Bay entrance to the shoreline trail at the end of Lewelling Boulevard. For more information, call Delmarie Snodgrass at 510-577-3490.

# The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is seeking volunteers from 9 a.m. to noon to help pick up trash and remove non-native plants. Volunteers can report to the center at 4901 Breakwater Avenue.

# The East Bay Regional Park District is sponsoring events in Hayward at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve at the end of Veasy Street, and at the Hayward Regional Shoreline Park at the end of West Winton Avenue.

# In Fremont, sites along Crandall, Irvington, Laguna, Line B and Mission creeks will have volunteers cleaning up the waterways.

Katrina Schwartz at KQED put together the Google Map

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