April 18, 2011

Earth Day Cleanups Prevent 2,417 lbs. of Pollution From Entering Monterey Bay

In conjunction with the Santa Cruz Earth Day Festival in San Lorenzo Park, Save Our Shores staff, Sanctuary Stewards, and 193 community volunteers banded together on Saturday, April 16th, to prevent a total of 2,417 pounds of pollution from entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in honor of Earth Day this year. Both cleanups offered community members a real hands-on opportunity to Take Action for Earth Day.

The San Lorenzo River Cleanup gathered 82 volunteers who prevented a total of 2,300 pounds of pollution from entering the Sanctuary in under four hours. Of that, 1,800 pounds were trash and 500 pounds were recycling, which included 3 shopping carts, 5 tires, a washing machine, and lots and lots (and LOTS) of plastic.

The Cowell and Main Beach Cleanup gathered 119 volunteers who prevented a total of 117 pounds of pollution from entering the Sanctuary in under 3 hours. The volunteers included fans and representatives from KDON radio station, a rugby team, UCSC students, and local families -all working together to remove 86 pounds of trash and 31 pounds of recycling from the popular tourist beach downtown. KDON even surprised beach cleanup volunteers by raffling off a composter - graciously won by a group of UCSC students!

Volunteers at Cowell and Main Beach removed an impressive 2,667 cigarette butts – a mere fraction of what washes into our oceans throughout the year. Cigarette butts are the #1 littered item around the world. Read more about cigarette butt pollution on our webpage...

Meanwhile, the Santa Cruz Earth Day Festival featured live music, sustainable goods, workshops on composting and graywater options, plenty of hoola-hooping and arts and crafts fun for the kiddos, and free rides on the pedicab.

Andrew, our coordinator of volunteer programs here at Save Our Shores said: "The number of volunteers who came out today and the amount of trash they collected only tell part of the story. Each volunteer who pitched in today experienced a connection to our ocean and watersheds. That is what Earth Day is about and that is what Save Our Shores is all about."

Emily, our program manager who managed the river cleanup effort said: "With the recent storms that have been bringing extreme high tides and large amounts of rain, were concerned with the amount of debris accumulating on our beaches and in our riv
ers. That's why we were excited to build off the momentum of Earth Day to garner more volunteer support than ever before for our Santa Cruz Earth Day Festival Cleanups."

Together, the cleanups successfully kept 2,417 lbs. of pollution from entering our Sanctuary, and that, my friends, is the kind of news to make our Mother Earth proud.

And on the eve of the official Earth Day holiday this week, meet Save Our Shores at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing this Thursday, April 21st, for 'Beers for the Ocean - Take 2'! A beer-drinking benefit for Save Our Shores, your local ocean advocates.

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