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Fallon Students Recover 'Bizarre Items' While Helping Clean Lake Merritt

A champagne glass, underwear, and an illegal fish trap were all recovered as the students spent their day working to clean the lake.

OAKLAND, Ca: Members of the Fallon California Junior Scholarship Federation in Dublin went to Lake Merritt in Oakland to help clean the lake in January. Photo provided by Terri Sharbach
OAKLAND, Ca: Members of the Fallon California Junior Scholarship Federation in Dublin went to Lake Merritt in Oakland to help clean the lake in January. Photo provided by Terri Sharbach
Written by Chris Liu, Fallon Middle School—

On January 25, 2014, the Environmental Division of the Fallon California Junior 
Scholarship Federation went to Lake Merritt in Oakland to help clean the lake and 
surrounding area. It was a beautiful and sunny day as 8th grade CJSF members, 
Chris Liu, Ryan Wong, Nick Gomez, Tre Hines, Abbey Yee, Faith Chau, Camryn 
Lee, Ethan Chinn, Gary Yang and Sierra Sharbach (7th) spent the morning cleaning the litter inside and around Lake Merritt.

Project manager Chris Liu has been trying for months to organize something to show CJSF’s commitment to the environment and stumbled upon the Lake Merritt Institute, which was an organization dedicated to helping keep Lake Merritt clean to protect the various bird species living in the area. 

The Lake Merritt Institute is headed by environmental scientist, Dr. Richard 
Bailey. Once the group arrived at the institute, the students were shown a video on 
how to correctly clean and use the equipment as well as some safety guidelines 
presented by James Robinson, an associate of the executive director.

Robinson explained how the lake is filled from run off after rains as streams and creeks from the hills empty into the lake.  He emphasized how important it is to keep bay area streams and creeks clean and free from garbage and chemicals like paint.  

The students also discovered that any one could help clean the lake at any time because all around the lack are four U-Clean It Stations that contain nets, gloves, trash bags, and two trash barrels. 

During the cleanup, the CJSF members found a variety of items floating 
around in the lake.

Camryn Lee said, “The cleanup was very successful because we found various items that don't belong in the lake, and you always get a good feeling when you do something kind.” Students also found a couple bizarre items, including a champagne glass, underwear, and an illegal fish trap, which students pulled to the shore and to free the trapped fish.  

One student, Gary Yang, was insistent on getting an unreachable piece of garbage and bravely walked into the shallow lake to recover it. 

While the students were cleaning, people walking alongside the lake would 
encourage and compliment the CJSF members saying “good job” and “thanks for 
doing that.”  

As Ryan Wong said, “It makes me feel good because I know that I am 
helping the local community and wildlife”. Everyone was surprised by how much fun can be had while helping out the community.

By helping clean the environment, the Environmental Division of the Fallon CJSF helped the community take one more step towards a cleaner planet.  There are plans to return to the lake later in the yearand maybe a beach clean up next.
David Haubert February 21, 2014 at 06:31 PM
I'm very proud of the Fallon students for their hard work to help maintain a clean environment. Great job! David Haubert Dublin City Coucilman

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