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Mission Creek Not So Trashy


The Environmental Defense Center (EDC) conducts Mission Creek cleanups to remove litter before winter rains wash the trash to the ocean.

Early creek clean-ups in the 1980s filled up large dumpsters donated by MarBorg. We removed old motorcycles, car batteries, motor oil, tires, car parts, and shopping carts.

But each year we see less trash because the Santa Barbara City Creeks Division is working hard to prevent contamination of creeks and beaches. Through education, outreach, screening storm drains, and actively removing garbage, the city is protecting our beaches from pollution every day. Thanks to the city and to volunteers’ efforts, there is far less rubbish in Mission Creek these days.

Although the city has done a great job controlling litter, Mission Creek remains polluted. Recently we have noticed an increase in plastic bottles, plastic shopping bags, and spray-paint cans from graffiti artists. This information will help focus efforts on controlling these problem items.

The city is working hard to clean our creeks and deserves a tremendous “Thank you!” While much work remains to be done, the creeks continue to be healthier and cleaner thanks to the Santa Barbara City Creeks Division and a caring community.

Learn more about how you can help EDC and the city clean and restore Mission Creek by visiting the EDC website or by calling (805) 963-1622.—Brian Trautwein,

Brian Trautwein is an environmental analyst for the Environmental Defense Center.

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