Gung-ho kayakers help clean up China Camp’s shoreline

Member of the Bay Area Sea Kayaking Club took to the water to remove dangerous and unsightly litter.

Litter bugs met their watery match at China Camp this May, when an armada of kayakers from the Bay Area Sea Kayaking Club (BASK) took to the bay to help clean up our shoreline. Despite some wicked winds, this spirited bunch of paddlers retrieved a sizable mound of tough-to-reach trash and debris. 

The day started not on the water but inside our Village Museum. Friends of China Camp Executive Director Martin Lowenstein started the day with a warm welcome. He was followed by an engaging presentation about the history of China Camp and its boats by FOCC Board Member John Muir, who also added some personal anecdotes about spending time with the Quan family at China Camp. (To view the presentation, go here.)

BASK laid out a sumptuous breakfast spread of bagels and lox, followed by their club meeting and some demonstrations. Now the paddlers were fueled and ready to take on the main task of the day: pick up litter. Once on the water, volunteers were able to nose their nimble sea kayaks into areas inaccessible by foot or larger boats. Regular trips to the “Mother Ship” (a trash barge on site for the day) let the paddlers offload collected trash items then head back out to retrieve more litter. 

After about three hours of challenging paddling, the sea kayakers had retrieved nearly 70 pounds of trash and debris. Due to BASK’s thorough pre-planning, safe and supportive division of labor, and a good amount of determination and masterful kayaking, the harmful debris no longer sullies China Camp’s beauty. It was indeed a rewarding day for all! 

We look forward to future collaborations with BASK. Thanks to everyone who gave their time and effort to keep China Camp and its shoreline healthy and thriving.

For more on kayaking events and excursions in the San Francisco Bay Area, visit—by Chris Young, FOCC Park Manager

Photo courtesy of BASK