September 22, 2010

New Pollution Prevention BaitTanks Keep Toxins out of the Ocean & Save Some Fish on the Way

For the benefit of the marine environment, Save Our Shores recently unveiled a new pollution prevention project to collect the #1 form of marine debris found littering our local beaches and coastlines: cigarette butts.

Marine health, not human health, is the target of this anti-cigarette campaign.

Can you believe Save Our Shores staff and volunteers have removed over 132,337 cigarette butts during beach and river cleanups since 2007? And just wait until we update that stat after this Saturday's Annual Coastal Cleanup Day (Sept. 25th, 9am-noon, all around the world)!

Cigarette filters and left over tobacco contain heavy metals and organic compounds that create acute toxicity in the marine environment. Toxicity and ingestion make cigarette litter a clear and present danger to the success of the recently-established Marine Protected Areas along the Central Coast of California, our Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and coa
stlines and waterways across the globe.

Save Our Shores decided to tackle this pollution problem with a new force, and began working with both the Cities of Capitola and Santa Cruz to identify high traffic smoking areas in need of cigarette receptacles. Together, we have begun to strategically place stainless steel cigarette receptacles, called BaitTanks, along the Capitola Esplanade, the Santa Cruz Wharf, and Beach Street in Santa Cruz.

The Bait Tanks are large steel boxes with a shark fin on top that say: "Save some Fish. Feed me butts."

The City of Capitola was eager to take advantage of this opportunity to promote improvements to our coastal resource and provide educational opportunities to residents and visitors. “The cigarette receptacles provided by this program help the City promote a clean coastal environment and dovetail with the City’s ban on smoking on Capitola beach and nearby walkways and streets,” says Steve Jesberg from the City of Capitola.

Save Our Shores will continue to target problematic pollution in our community and develop ways to combat it.

The inventor of the BaitTanks is Mark Armen. Mark's background in recycling led him to the realization that recycling doesen't work for everything, and especially for the little things. After a lot of research and thought, he created the company Gulpable to get his BaitTanks out into the world. Beginning in Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Santa Monica, placement of Mark's BaitTanks has just begun.

For more information on the BaitTanks visit:

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  1. Thank you for posting about BaitTanks. I know Mark Armen who is the environmental mastermind behind them. He comes out for beach cleanups with me from time to time and I am so thrilled to see Capitola and Santa Cruz catching on to his thoughtful, and effective method of compating cigarette butt liter. Soon the local pier in Santa Monica will be equiped with BaitTanks too!


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