September 30, 2011

Meet us at the Monterey Beer Garden Oct. 9th!

Saving the ocean is hard work, and it's making us thirsty!

Come take a beer break with us at Monterey Beer Garden - being held in the beautiful, stucco-walled Memory Gardens next to the Monterey Portola Hotel & Spa. Proceeds from this fantastic event benefit Save Our Shores, so you're drinking and merriment goes to a great cause - double score!

When: Sunday, October 9, 12-4pm

Where: Memory Gardens, Custom House Plaza, Monterey


Who needs Octoberfest when you have the Monterey Beer Garden?

Come kick off the fall season with a proper beer drinking event - all in the name of ocean conservation. We can't wait for this event, and to see you all out there!

September 22, 2011

A 10 Year Success Story for Marine Protected Areas & the Latest Addition


A recent study from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, examined the Cabo Pulmo National Park, a Marine Protected Area in Mexico. They saw a 463% increase in total fish biomass, the largest measured increase in MPA history! This study is pure science-backed evidence that Marine Protected Areas truly work toward the goal of revitalizing ecosystems and replenishing depleted populations of marine life.

Here in California, 49 new Marine Protected Areas in Southern California will be implemented on January 1, 2012. The area spans from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County down to the U.S./Mexico border, protects 354 square miles of state waters, and accounts for about 15% of the waters in that region.

September 21, 2011

New Leaf Celebrates Envirotoken Program & Over 3 Million Bags Saved


Join Save Our Shores for the Envirotoken celebration party on Wednesday, September 21st, from 5-7pm at participating New Leaf stores. Save Our Shores will be at the Westside market to enjoy the festivities and share some words with the crowd.


About the Envirotoken Program

It started with a simple act by Ron Goodman so many years ago. He was shopping at New Leaf and during checkout, was asked if we wanted his 5 cents back for bringing his own reusable bag to the store.

Ron wondered how the nickels added up to anything significant and thought, "Well, if everyone could donate the nickels to environmental groups, that would feel more relevant and might actually help. So, I suggested the program and New Leaf liked it. I also suggested it to Staff of Life shortly thereafter and they started a similar program."

And the Envirotoken Program at New Leaf Community Markets was born.

Today, over 3 million bags have been saved through this program, which encourages shoppers to bring their own bag and offers them a 5 cent token to donate to local non-profits working for the environment.

Save Our Shores is a proud recipient of these donations each month and thanks the community, New Leaf, and Ron Goodman for their dedication to environmental stewardship and community support!

We love you, New Leaf!

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: http://bit.ly/SOS-Day.

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!

September 16, 2011

September 17, 2011, is Save Our Shores Day in the City of Santa Cruz!


Mayor's Proclamation from the City of Santa Cruz for
Save Our Shores Day September 17, 2011


WHEREAS SAVE OUR SHORES HAS BEEN WORKING TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE MONTEREY BAY FOR OVER 30 YEARS; and

WHEREAS IN 1978, SAVE OUR SHORES WAS FOUNDED TO FIGHT TO KEEP OFFSHORE OIL RIGS OUT OF MONTEREY BAY AND CENTRAL COAST WATERS; and

WHEREAS SAVE OUR SHORES HELPED TO ESTABLISH THE FEDERALLY PROTECTED MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY, ONE OF THE WORLDS MOST DIVERSE MARINE ECOSYSTEMS; and

WHEREAS SAVE OUR SHORES WORKS TIRELESSLY TO ADVOCATE AGAINST POLLUTION IN OUR OCEAN THROUGH EDUCATION, OUTREACH, AND CITIZEN ACTION IN OUR COMMUNITY; and

WHEREAS SAVE OUR SHORES SUCCESSFULLY EDUCATES OVER 15,000 STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS EACH YEAR ABOUT THE MOST PRESSING ISSUES AFFECTING OUR OCEANS AND MARINE SANCTUARY TODAY; and

WHEREAS SAVE OUR SHORES WILL COORDINATE OVER 11,000 VOLUNTEERS TO HELP REMOVE 20,000 POUNDS OF POLLUTION FROM THE BEACHES AND RIVERS SURROUNDING THE MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY THIS YEAR; and

WHEREAS SAVE OUR SHORES IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER IN THE CITY OF SANTA CRUZ, FOUNDER OF THE CENTRAL COAST SANCTUARY ALLIANCE TO BAN PLASTIC BAGS AROUND MONTEREY BAY, AND A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE PLASTIC POLLUTION COALITION; and

WHEREAS WITH SAVE OUR SHORES HOSTING 300 BEACH, RIVER, AND INLAND CLEANUPS IN 2011, THE CITY OF SANTA CRUZ IS THANKFUL TO HAVE THIS ORGANIZATION IN OUR COMMUNITY.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, RYAN COONERTY, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF SANTA CRUZ, DO HEREBY PROCLAIM SEPTEMBER 17, 2011 AS “SAVE OUR SHORES DAY” IN THE CITY OF SANTA CRUZ AND ENCOURAGE ALL CITIZENS TO JOIN ME IN HONORING THIS ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION FOR THEIR EFFORTS TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF OUR SANCTUARY AND OCEAN.

RYAN COONERTY, MAYOR

September 13, 2011

Breaking News: Santa Cruz County Unanimously Approves Single-Use Bag Reduction Ordinance


Just this morning, September 13th, 2011, Save Our Shores sat in the chambers of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, crossing our fingers that they would move forward with the local ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags from retailers and food vendors.

But we didn't know they'd be voting on it!

Save Our Shores applauds the unanimous decision by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors today to approve a county-wide ban on single-use plastic bags from retailers and food vendors.

Why? Because plastic bags are a harmful, petroleum-based plastic product of convenience, are not biodegradable, are ingested by marine species, and are constantly found polluting the waterways and communities surrounding the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The ordinance, originally spearheaded by Supervisor Mark Stone and diligently written by a task force that included Save Our Shores, imposes a 10 cent fee on paper bags, bans single-use plastic bags from retailers and food vendors, and encourages use of reusable bags.

Public comment and support of the ban was plentiful at the meeting this morning, where members of Save Our Shores, Environment California, Saves the Waves Coalition, Surfrider Santa Cruz Chapter, Sustainable Salinas, and citizens of the Santa Cruz community spoke in support of the ban. Carolyn Ruldolph, owner of Charlie Hong Kong restaurant, spoke in support of the ban and shared her own restaurant’s successful experience of transitioning away from single-use plastic bags.

Today, the County of Santa Cruz joins the ranks of other counties and cities in the state of California that have passed similar bans on single-use plastic bags such as the County of Los Angeles, the County of Marin, and the Cities of San Jose, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Oakland, Fairfax, Malibu, Long Beach, and more.

“The plastic bag problem is a state-wide issue, but because the state legislature failed to get it done, we had to move forward locally to make this happen,” said Supervisor Mark Stone at the meeting. “I thank the county staff and the task force for getting this done. In addition, SOS has been amazing and a real catalyst in this process.”

Says Laura Kasa, Executive Director of Save Our Shores, “I thank the leadership of this Board of Supervisors for taking on this issue and for diligently following through in order to protect our ocean from this harmful product.”

Save Our Shores has been working with local leaders, businesses, and residents for over two years to garner support for this ban and will continue to advocate for bans on single-use plastic bags in each jurisdiction around the Sanctuary. Contact savourshores.org for more information.

Another victory in the fight to keep plastic pollution out of our oceans, off our beaches, and away from marine life!

Thank you to everyone who helped pass this ordinance once and for all.

September 7, 2011

Donate $5 toward Annual Coastal Cleanup Day in Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties!

Here on the shores of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, we ALL play a vital role in protecting our ocean. But the fact remains that hundreds of thousands of pounds of plastic, garbage, and cigarette butts continue to pollute our oceans and harm marine life at an alarming rate.

YOU can help prevent this by joining the largest volunteer event on the planet – Annual Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 17th, from 9 am – noon.

Happening at over 80 cleanup sites in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, Annual Coastal Cleanup Day is your opportunity to protect our beautiful Sanctuary in Monterey Bay.

To support Annual Coastal Cleanup Day in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, text “SOS” to the number 20222 to donate $5 toward the largest community cleanup of the year.



Cleanup sites include beach, river, inland, and even kayak and SCUBA sites around the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Event information, pre-registration, and cleanup site maps can be found at: saveourshores.org/acc.

"If you have enjoyed yourself on a clean and beautiful beach this summer, Annual Coastal Cleanup Day this September 17 is your opportunity to give back to the ocean. Help protect Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties' most valuable resource – our beautiful beaches and shorelines," says Andrew Hoeksema, Coordinator of Volunteer Programs at Save Our Shores.

All cleanup materials will be provided, but volunteers are encouraged to help lower the carbon footprint of this event by bringing their own bucket, reusable bags, and gloves to help reduce single-use disposables generated.

In 2010, Save Our Shores coordinated 6,043 volunteers in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties who removed nearly 20,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from local beaches and waterways in just 3 hours, pollution that would have otherwise entered the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. With just over 100 countries participating in this massive global effort to keep pollution out of our oceans and waterways, International Coastal Cleanup Day is the single largest volunteer event on the planet.


We'll see you out there on September 17th!


September 1, 2011

Sign Up for Annual Coastal Cleanup Day September 17th!


Did you know Annual Coastal Cleanup Day is the single-largest volunteer event on the planet? Come make history with Save Our Shores!


This year our goal is to coordinate the largest community volunteer event the Central Coast has ever seen – a record-breaking Annual Coastal Cleanup Day in both Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.

In 2010, a total of 6,043 Santa Cruz and Monterey County volunteers came together to prevent nearly 20,000 pounds of pollution from entering our Sanctuary at 80 cleanup sites in just three short hours. In California, an impressive 80,312 volunteers removed over 1,100,000 pounds of pollution from our beaches, rivers, and waterways. Now imagine what gets left behind…

Annual Coastal Cleanup Day 2011 will include 50 sites in Santa Cruz County and 33 sites in Monterey County. Inland and river sites often see the most trash, so consider registering for an underserved site this year. Let’s work together to protect our environment and create a more empowered, responsible community at the same time.


Want your business or group to be recognized as a steward for our oceans? Become an Event Sponsor! Email vivian@saveourshores.org today.

Want to become an environmental leader in your community? Sign up to be a Site Captain! Email andrew@saveourshores.org.

The overall success of Annual Coastal Cleanup Day depends on the leadership of our Site Captains and is a rewarding way to be an environmental leader in your community with minimal commitment. You'll attend a brief information and training session in early September, arrive early on Coastal Cleanup Day to set up your cleanup site, sign-in your volunteers, and hand out cleanup materials. Whether you are a regular beach cleanup participant or this is your first time, participating in Coastal Cleanup Day is exciting and easy. For more information contact andrew@saveourshores.org.




Bring Your Own
We are committed to reducing the environmental footprint of this event and encourage volunteers to Bring Your Own reusable bags, buckets, gloves, and reusable water bottle to lower the carbon footprint of this event.

Save Our Shores Support a Statewide Ban on Styrofoam


“Capitola is a local example that bans on Styrofoam work”

We found it surprising and disappointing that the article, “California May Be First State To Ban Styrofoam Containers”, was such a negative view of the potential new state policy. Here on the Central Coast we’ve had such success with cutting down on Styrofoam litter since local bans have been put in place; since the ban in Capitola in 2007, Save Our Shores has documented a 50% decrease in the amount of Styrofoam take out containers in our beach cleanups. Restaurants and customers adapted well to the ban. No restaurant closed due to having to switch to environmentally friendly food containers, no customers decided to travel to some ban-free town to eat so that they could take their leftovers home in a Styrofoam container. The reality is there are alternatives to Styrofoam that are readily available, reasonable in cost and more practical (it’s not safe to heat Styrofoam in the microwave as it leaches the toxins into the food – how inconvenient is that?!).

By living in an ocean community, we are responsible for making sure we have a positive impact on our environment in order to ensure our community maintains strong environmental, human and economic health. Who wants Capitola Beach littered with small pieces of Styrofoam which may have come from foam cups, bowls or plates that were brought to the beach for a picnic? So as the Mayor of Capitola, I decided it was time to take the next step and propose a ban on all Styrofoam products sold within the city. Laura Kasa of SOS joined me today as we met with over 20 businesses to discuss the impact the ban would have on them. We visited Rite-Aid, Bevmo, Savemart, Nob Hill, CVS, FedEx, and others and received a positive response from every store manager we met. They all nodded in agreement, that it made sense to expand the ordinance from just take out containers to the retail products they sold in their stores. More than one store manager said, “Great, I hate Styrofoam, I’m happy to get it out of my store”.
Based on this information gathering, we find it absurd that the state would have a hard time passing a ban on just Styrofoam take out containers that won’t even go into effect until 2016. How can it be that 5 years is not enough time for anywhere in this state to phase out this harmful material? As Capitola shows, the ban did work, it was possible, it was not a difficult transition, and it is leading them to moving forward on expanding it and they are getting positive feedback from businesses about it.

The state should be looking at Capitola and the entire county of Santa Cruz which is free of Styrofoam take out containers, as real life examples that these bans work and it’s the right thing to do for all of California. I’m asking that we all take one minute this week and sign a letter of support to the California Assembly by Friday. We need individuals but we also really need restaurants to send in letters of support.

Dennis Norton, Mayor of Capitola

Laura Jean Kasa, Executive Director, Save Our Shores