September 17, 2011

4,584 Volunteers Keep Over 17,000 Pounds of Pollution from Entering Monterey Bay

Save Our Shores (SOS) is excited to announce the results of Coastal Cleanup Day 2011 for Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. Taking place at 81 cleanup sites from Wadell Creek in the north to the Big Sur coast in the south, Save Our Shores coordinated an impressive 4,584 volunteers during this annual cleanup event. Of the 81 cleanups, 9 were exclusively school cleanups.

In Santa Cruz County, 2,882 volunteers worked at 50 cleanup sites spanning over 76 miles of beach, river, creek, river, slough and lake to remove 9,676 pounds of trash and 2,799 pounds of recyclables in just 3 hours. Totaled, that’s 12,475 pounds of pollution removed in Santa Cruz County alone.

In Monterey County, 1,702 volunteers worked at 30 cleanup sites spanning 81 miles of beach, river, creek, and lake, to remove 4,543 pounds of trash and 485 pounds of recyclables from beaches, waterways and the surface of the ocean in just 3 hours. Totaled, that’s 5,028 pounds of pollution removed in Monterey County.

  • Total volunteers in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties combined: 4,584
  • Total trash and recyclables removed in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties combined: 17,503

At the onset of the cleanup at Cowell Beach this morning, Save Our Shores was presented with a Mayor’s Proclamation declaring September 17, 2011, as Save Our Shores Day in the City of Santa Cruz by Santa Cruz City Council Members David Terrazas and Hilary Bryant. The Proclamation states: “The City of Santa Cruz is fortunate to have Save Our Shores as an organization in our community.” Full language of the Proclamation can be found online at:

California Congressman Sam Farr spoke with volunteers at Carmel Beach this morning. “Marine debris…is a global problem,” said Sam Farr. “The neat thing about Annual Coastal Cleanup Day is that it’s an international event -volunteers in hundreds of countries are filling out the same data cards so we can get a global picture of this problem (and) SOS does a great job of coordinating this effort locally.”

Assemblymember Luis A. Alejo, at the Pajaro River cleanup, said, "It is exciting to see such a large group of Watsonville residents helping out today, understanding that the trash we find here would otherwise end up in the Monterey Bay. This is my third year doing the cleanup and it is becoming a tradition for this community to come out and help keep the trash out of the Bay."

Watsonville Mayor Daniel Dodge was also at the Pajaro River cleanup this morning. Said Mayor Dodge, "There are so many young people here today which makes me excited. Over one-third of the residents of Watsonville are under 18, so we really have the ability to live change by educating the youth."

"When thousands of local residents volunteer to clean our beaches and watersheds they demonstrate their care for what makes this area special - the Monterey Bay," said Andrew Hoeksema, Coordinator of Volunteer Programs at Save Our Shores.

“Our goal is to raise awareness about the problem trash, particularly plastics, creates in our oceans, and inspire our community to make the connection between their actions on land and the impact these actions have on our Marine Sanctuary,” says Laura Kasa, Executive Director of Save Our Shores.

Said Jason Burnett, Carmel City Council Member, came to the Carmel Beach cleanup with his 3 month old son, the youngest volunteer at Annual Coastal Cleanup Day this year. “This one mile stretch of beach gets 2 million visitors a year,” said Burnett. “We need to let people know this beach is kept clean through regular volunteer efforts like this (and that we) appreciate the good work Save Our Shores does of bringing new folks and families out to take part in these cleanups.”

Monterey County Supervisor Jane Parker, said, while at the Fort Ord Dunes cleanup this morning, “To me, the ocean is a symbol of how we are all connected. Everything we do impacts the ocean, the air, and each other, and Coastal Cleanup Day is a good time to think about that connection."

Cleanup Site Captains saw a rise in the number of volunteers who brought their own reusable buckets, bags, gloves, and water bottles to help lower the carbon footprint of Annual Coastal Cleanup Day. Save Our Shores conducts monthly cleanups in Santa Cruz County on the 3rd Saturday of each month.

Thank you, everyone, for making Annual Coastal Cleanup Day 2011 such a huge success!


  1. clean up days are a great way of doing our bit for the environment

  2. Hi - Yay! I particpated in the South Florida - Deerfield Beach location...
    About 100 people or more throughout the day -
    So encouraging to see so many people caring and volunteering - so many youth groups, too...

    Thanks for sharing -
    beachside cottage
    (pics on my site if you want to see!)

    Did Assemblymember Alejo pick up any polystyrene foam food containers littrering the Pajaro River so it wouldn't get to the bay???
    It is great that this is Mr. Alejo's third year doing the cleanup and that it is becoming a tradition for the community to come out and help keep the trash out of the Monterey Bay. Now all we need is to make it a "tradition" for all the Members of the Assembly (including Mr. Alejo) to finish the job in 2012 by passing SB 568!


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