Battle for the Bay cleanup heats up as San Jose enters the competition

Date Posted: September 16th, 2019 @ 12:09 PM
Last Updated: September 16th, 2019 @ 12:12 PM
Battle for the Bay announcement art


Mayors urge home-stretch volunteer sign-ups in all three cities as part of Coastal Cleanup Day effort to protect the San Francisco Bay, improve neighborhoods, and combat illegal dumping

Bay Area, CA — A two-city mayors’ competition to protect the Bay by volunteering to clean neighborhoods took a turn Monday, as San José Mayor Sam Liccardo joined his city into the fray. The event has been dubbed Battle for the Bay, a friendly volunteer competition to protect the shared Bay by cleaning up coastal areas and neighborhoods.

The event will take place at worksites throughout San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, on September 21, as part of the annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. The challenge is on to protect the treasured Bay by cleaning and greening all three cities! Projects include trash removal, habitat restoration, tree planting, and beautification.

The mayors made a joint call to be a part of the global movement to keep cities and waterways clean. The cities will compete to make the most impactful cleanups measured by volunteer turnout, amount of debris removed, geographic area cleaned, beautification projects and most unusual object found by a volunteer.

“Our annual coastal cleanups have removed thousands of tons of trash and debris from our waterways,” said Mayor Liccardo. “I look forward to this year’s events, which now feature a friendly competition to inspire thousands more neighbors and partners to help beautify our communities and reclaim our public spaces.”

“From the streets to the shores, this annual cleanup is an opportunity to shine that thousands of Oaklanders make a huge success every year,” Mayor Schaaf said. “This year we’re building on that success by bringing new support into our neighborhoods where the community faces illegal dumping every day. This is a win-win, because sidewalk trash is just a few steps away from contaminating our natural waterways. By cleaning our neighborhoods we’re also protecting our Bay!”

“Battle for the Bay will help protect our cherished Bay and is part of our broader efforts to keep every neighborhood in our City clean, green and beautiful,” Mayor Breed said. “San Francisco is known for being an environmental champion, and we’ll continue working together to keep San Francisco’s diverse communities looking good– not just on this one day, but every day. It’s a matter of need and civic pride.”

“Every day, somewhere in Oakland, our community is doing something to make our home more beautiful and clean. We’re here to support that work every day, and scale it way up with events like Battle for the Bay,” Oakland Public Works Director Jason Mitchell said. “In Oakland, we’re encouraging every resident to be Oaktown PROUD -- Prevent and Report Oakland’s Unlawful Dumping. With true partnership between our City and our community, our cities’ year-round strategies to clean and beautify neighborhoods and waterways will turn the tide on trash.”

“Public Works is a proud partner of Coastal Cleanup Day,” San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru said. “We are ready to sign up volunteers, clean up our neighborhoods and protect our bay. I want to thank our City partners, including the Recreation and Park Department and Port of San Francisco, as well as our steadfast, year-round community partners. I also would like to welcome new volunteers to Battle for the Bay on Coastal Cleanup Day. It requires a true team effort to keep our neighborhoods and our environment looking good.”

“San José leads the state in volunteers according to the Corporation for National and Community Service,” San Jose’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Director Jon Cicirelli said. “Every year, 700 volunteers clean our creeks on Coastal Cleanup Day. We thank these volunteers for their service, and acknowledge our City partners, the Environmental Services Department, and all our non-profit agencies and businesses that remove tons of trash from our waterways.”

The event has drawn major support from sponsors on both sides of the Bay. Sponsors who have committed funding and resources to Battle for the Bay include Recology, Alaska Airlines, Waste Management of Alameda County, Argent Materials, California Waste Solutions, Andes Construction, DeSilva Gates Construction donating on behalf of Cypress Mandela, Ray’s Electric, Clear Channel, Webcor, the Emerald Fund, the Warriors, and Black and Veatch.

Key partners in the event include the California Coastal Commission, The Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation, San Francisco Public Works, Oakland Public Works, San Jose Public Works, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Port of San Francisco, Caltrans, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the National Park Service, the Presidio Trust and California State Parks.

The challenge is dubbed The Battle for the Bay in honor of the 30th anniversary of the 1989 “Battle of the Bay” Major League Baseball World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s. People of all ages and abilities are invited to join the event, which is part of the largest volunteer day in California and the world! On this day, thousands of volunteers remove litter from waterways and shorelines, as well as upstream areas across California, the nation, and in about 100 participating countries.

Which City can turn out the most volunteers? Collect the most trash? Join your city’s team to show your civic pride make a difference! Choose from dozens of volunteer sites in Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. Be a part of it!

To sign up as a site coordinator, find volunteer locations, register as a group, or for more information go to


Media Contact

Oakland Mayor’s Office, 510-238-7072 and Oakland Public Works, 510-238-6358

San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131

Chloe Meyere, Office of Mayor Liccardo; 408-535-4833