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Our History

  • 2013

    Opened our doors for business

    We officially launched operations starting with a modest table along the Los Gatos Creek trail in Campbell which led to our first cleanup in May.

  • 2015

    Expansion onto the Guadalupe River

    We rebranded our group as "South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition", a more inclusive name.

  • 2016

    Adding Guadalupe River

    Our cleanups started to include multiple locations along both the Los Gatos Creek and the Guadalupe River.

  • 2018

    Expanded to Coyote Creek

    We acquired the group "Friends of Coyote Creek Watershed" and expanded to include the Coyote Creek.

About Us

South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition (SBCCC) originated as a community-based effort called Friends of Los Gatos Creek, and after nearly five years it has grown to include the Los Gatos Creek, the Guadalupe River, and the Coyote Creek.

Due to budget cuts in the early 90s, the City of San Jose was unable to keep local creeks clean, so SBCCC filled that void with a volunteer-led effort. Before SBCCCs launching, our waterways were filled with mountains of trash containing an array of waste, like mixed plastics, packaging and wrappers, batteries, shopping carts, paint cans, household goods, and more. During storm seasons, the accumulated trash along our rivers and creeks were swept down the creek and deposited into downstream pools, or worse, into the Bay.

During the next four years, we implemented the TEAM 222 Program, a volunteer-led effort to Reclaim, Restore, and Revitalize our local waterways. To date, this group has conducted over 175 creek cleanups removing over 200 tons of trash from our local waterways.

The goals of the TEAM 222 Program are:

  • Meet on the second Saturday of every other month
    • January, March, May, July, September, and November
  • Spend two hours volunteering at a Cleanup event
    • We work on multiple sections during each Cleanup
  • Get involved with your community and have fun!
Please join us for one of our Cleanup Events on Los Gatos Creek, Guadalupe River, or Coyote Creek. Help us Reclaim, Restore, and Revitalize our South Bay Watershed

Work Team

Steve Holmes

Is our founder and visionary. He's also a life-time fly fisherman who was struck by finding Chinook Salmon spawning in our urban creeks and wanted to ensure their success.

Carol Szymkiewicz

Has been with us for about two years and is responsible for organizing, coordinating and reporting on our cleanup activities.

Stuart Richardson

Restoration of urban streams, wetlands and other natural habitats has been a weekend passion for Stuart for over 30 years.

Michelle White

She works on our Youth Eco-Stewards Program, which aims to instill a love of our rivers and a stewardship culture in the hearts and minds of the Bay Area youth.

Phil Bair

Philip has been with SBCCC since late 2016, and is one of three interns whose role includes serving as a team leader at cleanups and participating in community outreach events.

what we do

Our Mission is to Reclaim our waterways by removing trash and other contaminants, to Restore those waterways by improving water quality and to Revitalize our waterways so that the native wildlife can survive and thrive.

Facebook Posts
  • Dozens of citywide volunteers have tackled removing the trash from the Guadalupe River and in the Coyote Creek. Recent cleanup efforts are reviving the creeks and, restoring the Chinook salmon and other wildlife habitat. This all thanks to the work of Steve Holmes, his wife, Lissa, and the incredible TEAM 222 (Tim Foley, Hunter Reid, Mason Seim, Aaron Adams, Carol Szymkiewicz, Michelle White, and interns Phil Bair, and Jake Black).

    Sam Liccardo (Mayor, City of San Jose) on January 13, 2018
  • Russ Danielson has been supporting our cleanups now for several years as a team leader. I think this recent quote from him says it all, " It is my goal to continue doing this kind of clean-up work for the rest of my life. As long as I can still walk, I will be out there, filling large plastic bags with junk." Thank-you for your commitment to our Waterways!

    Russ Danielson (Volunteer)