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Oakland Nonprofit Sees Success Cleaning Up Lake Merritt

By Garvin Thomas
|  Friday, Feb 22, 2013  |  Updated 9:54 AM PDT
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Oakland's Lake Merritt has many fans, but perhaps no better friend than Dr. Richard Bailey.

Oakland's Lake Merritt has many fans, but perhaps no better friend than Dr. Richard Bailey.

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Last March, a group of Oakland 6th graders discovered sunken treasure.

The kids found a 10-pound bag of gold and silver jewelery and antiques at the bottom of Lake Merritt.

The story made national news.

Eventually, a man claiming to the be the rightful owner of the property was found, but what was often lost in the story was the reason the children were at the lake in the first place.

They weren't looking for treasure, they were looking for trash.

The students, from nearby St. Paul School, were regular volunteers for the Lake Merritt Institute. Dr. Richard Bailey started the institute in the 1990's and helping to clean up Lake Merritt has been his profession, and his passion, ever since.

There are many longtime Oakland residents who say the lake has never looked (and smelled) better, and they say, Bailey deserves a lot of credit for that.

Watch Garvin Thomas' story above.

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