Last month, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced that the city would remove trash and homeless encampments along the river twice a week through the end of March. At a press event last month, Mayor Faulconer stated,
It hasn’t been done to this extent that I can ever remember. We’re changing that. We’re protecting [these] natural resources. It’s a jewel for all San Diegans.
According to the nonprofit San Diego River Park Foundation, homeless encampments along the river jumped to 116 in October, which is up from 61 encampments compared to the same month in 2016. The increase is most likely because of the cracked down on people camped on downtown streets, which was in response to the ongoing outbreak of hepatitis A in the city. In September, the city hauled out more than 66 tons of garbage and debris from the river around Qualcomm Stadium and removed over 10 tons of additional material to the east in Grantville just last month. This effort to remove trash and homeless camps from urban waterways is part of the city’s larger effort to restore rivers and creeks to conditions that would allow for public recreation. Hopefully, the cleaning helps to improve the sanitation along the rivers and helps the homeless people living near the river get some help.