The large amount of garbage clogging a section of Novato Creek for the second time in months has caused concern to residents, especially as the county prepares for the rainy season.
City officials say they plan to remove garbage bags, cardboard boxes and other trash collection from under the bridge leading from South Novato Boulevard to the Novato Fair Shopping Center.
However, nearby residents, such as Jim Brindamoor of Nave Court, are frustrated by homeless people dumping and camping at the bottom of the creek adjacent to their home.
Brind’Amour said that in addition to the trash, his neighbors are being harassed by homeless people. There has also been a recent break-in, he said.
“The city came and wiped them all out and put up big signs saying you can’t camp here. Now they’re back with a vengeance,” he said. “It looks like they intentionally tried to dam the stream with garbage. This is the second time taxpayers have had to pay to clear it.”
Novato Public Works Director Chris Blunk said police, public works officials, the Marin County Flood Control District and the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services had come together to prepare a plan to clean up the trash.
“We are required to post notices to urge people to leave the area before any trash is removed,” Blank said on Friday. A similar cleanup project took place at this location and further down the creek channel two months ago, but since then the rate of debris accumulation under the bridge has increased. We are looking at strategies to prevent it from happening again.”
City analyst Salina Sanchez said she could not say for sure who was responsible for the accumulation of trash in the creek.
“However, the city is working with community stakeholders to find solutions that ensure an end to waterway littering,” she said.
Sanchez said the city had not estimated the cost of decontamination, but said assistance from other jurisdictions would help reduce costs for the city.
Marin County Public Works Department spokesman Julian Kayron said creeks could flood if trash is not cleared before the storm.
Removing trash from streams is one of several jobs municipal crews handle as part of their annual storm preparations, Kaelon said. involves removing vegetation and debris from 37 miles of streams. Clears clogged rainwater pipes. Embankments and berms he maintains 14 miles. We maintain 43 pumping stations.
“Preparing for the storm season is a major undertaking and requires a year-round effort,” said Liz Lewis, county public works officer. , weeks of preparatory work have been completed.”
Depending on the stream where illegal dumping occurs, either the county or the local waste hauler franchise within the jurisdiction is responsible for clearing the debris, Kaelon said.
Recurring problem areas are low-lying streams and communities near San Francisco Bay, which flood during storms and storm surges and only get worse with rising sea levels, Kayron said. , Marine City, Ross Valley, Santa Venezia, Tamalpais Valley and South Novato Boulevard.
The county experienced historic rainfall a year ago, but forecasts indicate no rain for the foreseeable future.
The NOAA’s latest winter forecasts indicate that three consecutive winter La Niñas are likely. La Niña weather patterns, which occur when winds bring cold water to the Pacific Ocean near North America, often mean an equal chance of normal or below-normal precipitation in the Bay Area region.
“Roughly 59% of the country is currently in drought conditions, but parts of the western United States and the southern Great Plains will continue to be hardest hit this winter,” said John Gottschalk, federal climate change officer. said in a statement this week.