May 16, 2014
April 29, 2014
Prepping for a beach cleanup with 250 volunteers is no easy task, but Save Our Shores is not afraid of a challenge.
|Photo by Save Our Shores|
The Santa Cruz Warriors joined SOS for a big beach cleanup at Seabright Beach on March 15th and we were so excited to invite everyone in the community! In addition to the time it took for planning the event, there were also many tangible items necessary for the cleanup. We printed hundreds of waivers, packed three cars full of buckets, tables, and other bags filled with cleanup supplies, a sound system, and multiple signs! SOS knew that this was a cleanup like no other!
A couple weeks prior to the cleanup, SOS helped the Santa Cruz Warriors order reusable water bottles for the first 150 participants. This was our way of making sure our volunteers were hydrated and saying thank you to all who came out to support the cause.
Excitement and anticipation rose as the day of the cleanup approached. We knew the custom metal water bottles were on their way! One day, four big boxes packed with reusable water bottles arrived at our office and we opened them to find each bottle wrapped in plastic. Our hearts sank as we started to comprehend the complexity of hosting a entirely plastic-free event. Our shock turned into frustration and immediately we began to realize the foolishness of plastic packaging.
This time we had to focus and think of creative solutions. We brainstormed and decided to use these as a substitute for dog waste bags since we were running low on Mutt Mitts for our beach signs on Seabright Beach and Twin Lakes Beach.
Large Beach Cleanup: Plastic Slip-ups
● Reusable water bottles came packaged in plastic bags...reused for dog waste bags!
● Blue tarps for cleanup teams were wrapped in plastic
Suggestions for Buying From Companies:
● Request the company you purchase from to not use plastic packaging material for items that are ordered and shipped to SOS
● When contacting companies use email tagline similar to: “Each and everyday is a plastic free day at Save Our Shores”
-Kim Marks, Save Our Shores Program Intern
-Kim Marks, Save Our Shores Program Intern
April 28, 2014
|Photo by Denis Lincoln|
Point Lobos is an area rich with local fishing history. A few of the original buildings still stand today, you can even visit a cabin used to house workers from an old whaling station that operated from 1862 to 1879.
"The Carmel Bay Whaling Company was operated by a group of Portuguese seamen from 1862 until 1879. In California there were only 16 shore whaling stations between 1854 and 1900, with only about 300 men involved."-Point Lobos State Park Webite
Where visitors now park, an abalone cannery once operated.
"Around 1899, a young marine biologist from Japan, Gennosuke Kodani, and recent land owner, Alexander Allan established an abalone cannery which was located at what is now the Whalers Cove parking area. The cannery was so successful it eventually accounted for 75% of the abalone sold in California. It stayed in operation until 1928, and was dismantled in 1933 when the property became a state reserve." -Point Lobos State Park Webite
Point Lobos is well known for sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, and jogging. Not to mention every aspect of its resources is of scientific interest. There are many rare plants, endangered archeological sites, unique geological formations, and incredibly rich flora and fauna of both land and sea which made it an ideal place to protect.
In September of 2007, Point Lobos became a Marine Protected Area to provide a safe sanctuary for the abundance of biodiversity underwater.
|Photo by http://www.californiampas.org/|
|Photo by Jim Patterson|
If you are enchanted with this special place, plan an adventure to Point Lobos State Park, you will not be disappointed!
Posted by Lauren at 2:21 PM
April 24, 2014
Last week the City of San Francisco won a long standing battle against the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition in the Supreme Court to move forward with their plastic bag ban.
San Francisco led the way in 2007 with the first plastic bag ban in the country, eliminating plastic bags at large grocery stores. However, they did not charge a fee for paper bags which led to an increase in paper bags and got the attention of the Save The Plastic Bag Coalition. The coalition claims that paper bags "take more energy to produce than plastic, leading to an increase in greenhouse gases, and occupy more space in landfills." (sfgate.com). With the increase in use of paper bags, they demanded a full environmental review. "The city contended no such review was needed because the ordinance was environmentally benign, an argument that prevailed in court." (sfgate.com).
Since 2007, San Francisco added a $0.10 fee to paper bags and extended the ordinance to include all retail stores and restaurants as of October, 2013. The fee on paper bags creates an incentive to bring your own bag which is much better than either paper or plastic.
SOS commends the Supreme Court for this decision and we look forward to advocating for more plastic bag bans in California.
Posted by Lauren at 3:47 PM
April 23, 2014
Photo by www.tatianaamico.com/
On February 26th, 2014, Save Our Shores hosted Marc Shargel as one of our public speakers at the Sanctuary Exploration Center. It was an awesome event to not only learn more about the history of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, but a chance for our staff to celebrate our environment with guests and volunteers too! We had pizza donated by Pizza My Heart, beer donated by Ninkasi, and snack items from Staff of Life. Everything was delicious and for the most part recyclable, except for one item. One little slip-up prevented us from having the title of plastic free…Tortilla chips! They’re such a yummy and easy snack to bring to events, but are incredibly difficult to find without some type of plastic on their bag! Curse you little plastic window panes!
We ended up purchasing tortilla chips in a brown bag (yes! we thought it was recyclable) but with a closer look the bag had a clear plastic window right on front. Later we found out that the bag was recyclable (yay!), but the plastic window pane had to be cut out and thrown away. That’s okay though! This is all just a part of the learning process. After doing some digging into plastic free tortilla chip bags we found that you can order them in bulk from Staff of Life (PLU#131) ahead of time!
Becoming plastic free doesn't happen in one day. It’s a process that will take time. We will keep track of the plastic that we accidentally use at SOS events and based on our data, we will be able to see which alternative solutions worked and where adjustments should be made. With that in mind, we bid adieu to the tortilla chips with their plastic window pane bags and say hello to whatever clever food combinations we come up with next!
Plastic-free Food Suggestions for Large Events:
• Pizza (Homemade or without the white plastic table top in the box from restaurants)
• Snack Mixes from the bulk aisle
• Homemade pastries or desserts
• Beverages in glass jars (ie. Water, Juices, etc.)
|Photo: Associated Press|
-Bronti Patterson, SOS Program Intern
Posted by Lauren at 2:24 PM
April 22, 2014
When: Thursday, April 24 at 7 pm
Where: The Center for Spiritual Living, 1818 Felt St., Santa Cruz
Presented by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom of Santa Cruz
Speaker: Dr. Kai Vetter, Co-founder of Kelp Watch; Head Applied Nuclear Physics Program, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will speak about what we know, if we need to worry, and what we can do.
Speaker: Dan Hirsch, Lecturer on Nuclear Policy at UCSC, President of the nonprofit nuclear policy organization Committee to Bridge the Gap (between nuclear dangers and a sustainable future) will speak on what we should and can do about Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Followed by a discussion on possible actions we can take.
Moderator: Dan Haifley, Exec. Director of O’Neill’s Sea Odyssey, 2011 Save Our Shores “Ocean Hero" and environmental activist.
Co-Sponsors: Save Our Shores, Santa Cruz Sierra Club, Desal Alternatives
This community program is free. Donations are welcome. For more information or transportation, please call 831-246-4440, http://wilpf.got.net.
Posted by Lauren at 3:44 PM
April 19, 2014
Earth Day Cleanups a Huge Success with 316 Volunteers and over 1,500 lbs of trash!
|Volunteer fills out her data card at the |
San Lorenzo River cleanup at Water Street Bridge
SOS hosted five cleanups around the Monterey Bay and, with the help of 316 volunteers, prevented 1,505 pounds of trash and debris from polluting our waterways! The most common item found was cigarette butts. Volunteers also found 2 television sets, a tricycle, a bag full of horse hair, 19 tires and 2 mattresses at Elkhorn Slough. Volunteers at the Tannery by the San Lorenzo River found a heater and a roll of plastic sheeting. Last year’s Earth Day cleanup volunteers removed 665 pounds of trash at just three sites. This year we saw an increase in both sites and total trash removed with five sites and over 1,500 pounds of trash.
|19 tires found at Elkhorn Slough cleanup|
The Earth Day Cleanup is one of the largest community efforts of the year on the Central Coast. SOS is thrilled to have increased the Earth Day Cleanup effort by adding the Triple M Ranch site in Elkhorn Slough. The four remaining locations were Cowell and Main Beach, the San Lorenzo River from Water Street bridge to Soquel Street bridge, the San Lorenzo River behind the Tannery on River Street and Del Monte Beach in Monterey.
Elkhorn Slough at Triple M Ranch was the dirtiest site with over 800 pounds of waste. Properties bordering the Elkhorn Slough are impacted by a high amount of illegal dumping. SOS has been collaborating with local organizations to raise awareness about this fragile ecosystem and the harm that trash can have on marine life. The San Lorenzo River at Water Street Bridge came in second with 257 pounds.
“I was the most shocked when we rolled a jumbo TV out of a ditch right next to the gorgeous riparian marshland. I am grateful to ALBA, the Marine Mammal Center and ESF for combining forces and removing so much waste.” said Rachel Kippen, Program Manager at Save Our Shores who lead the Elkhorn Slough site.
Thank you to the to all our partners including ALBA, The Marine Mammal Center, Elkhorn Slough Foundation, Whole Foods, The Tannery Arts Center, REI and Lindsay Jackson for their assistance in making this event a huge success.
|Art Pitts helps out by hauling in trash from the |
San Lorenzo River behind the Tannery on River Street
|Needles found at the San Lorenzo River at the|
Tannery on River Street
|Sara Hutto volunteering at the Cowell and Main Beach cleanup today|
Posted by Lauren at 3:02 PM