The Lake Merritt Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to keeping Lake Merritt clean and educating people about the jewel of Oakland. It was founded in 1992 by Dr. Richard Bailey.
Over the years, the institute has installed the aerators and trash booms that help keep the lake clean and from returning to the "lake of 1000 smells" days. Volunteers meet on Tuesdays and Saturdays to clean the lake. The office is at 568 Bellevue, and there are 4 boxes with clean up equipment positioned around the lake.