December 19, 2011

Save Our Shores is Looking For a Few Great Stewards...

Save Our Shores is looking for the next class of local leaders to join the 2012 Sanctuary Steward Program. Sanctuary Stewards are the core volunteer force of Save Our Shores, each one of them instrumental in advancing ocean conservation work in the communities surrounding Monterey Bay.

The Sanctuary Steward training course begins in Santa Cruz on February 21, and continues on Tuesday evenings through April 10. The course includes presentations from local experts on the ecology of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, sustainable fisheries, plastic pollution, clean boating, ocean policy and advocacy. Stewards also receive hands-on training in classroom and outdoor event leadership with the staff of Save Our Shores.

An alternate training based in Monterey will be held in April and May.

Following the training, Stewards will take the lead on Save Our Shores' beach and river cleanups, as well as have numerous opportunities to educate, advocate, and share their skills. Those looking for opportunities to make a difference in ocean conservation are encouraged to apply to the 2012 Sanctuary Steward Program.

"I had three goals for the summer of 2011: do something that would benefit my local community, be outdoors as much as possible, and hopefully learn something in the process. The Save Our Shores Sanctuary Steward program allowed me to achieve all three," said Curtis Luckado, 2011 Sanctuary Steward.
Read Curtis' post about the rewarding life of a SOS Sanctuary Steward...

"The Sanctuary Stewards Program is your chance to make a difference for the ocean and your community. Get educated, get trained, and get busy as a volunteer leader for the environment with Save Our Shores in 2012," says Andrew Hoeksema, coordinator of volunteer programs at Save Our Shores.

For more information contact Andrew, Coordinator of Volunteer Programs at 831.462.5660 ext. 3 or

Find information and applications online...

December 13, 2011

Dive the Coast Continues to Build Along the Central Coast

Dive the Coast, an idea spearheaded by a handful of California SCUBA divers in the fall of 2011, continues to grow along the Central Coast with a large group dive set for June, 2013.

Save Our Shores' own Lauren Gilligan, experienced diver and marine biologist, took part in the launch event for Dive the Coast this past October called Dive the Bay. The launch event tested the waters to help determine dive distances and times and lay plans for the larger dives planned in the coming months and years. Thanks to Raj, owner of Silver Prince out of Monterey Harbor, the divers had a great time out in the deep waters of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

With the group of divers, Lauren shared news about California's Marine Protected Areas, our underwater state parks, and the importance of supporting MPAs now and into the future. Read more...

The next group dive is scheduled for January 21.
Stay up to date with Dive the Coast on their website and facebook pages.

The background:
Dive the Coast is scheduled to take place in June 2013 and will be the largest mass dive in history. It involves organizing thousands of scuba divers to travel the entire coastline underwater, raising money for conservation organizations along the way.

The idea for Dive the Coast originated in Santa Cruz in August 2011, and participants have since been conducting outreach to dive clubs, dive shops and non-profit organizations, as well as forming partnerships to help pull off this epic adventure.

On Oct. 15, 2011, divers from five different California counties held a kick-off event in Monterey to calibrate dive distance, depth and tank time. More calibration dives and test runs up and down the coast will be held in the coming months.

The ultimate goal of Dive the Coast is to bring divers across the state together for a common goal and to raise money for conservation organizations. But it will also provide an opportunity for divers to explore areas of the state where they would otherwise not go, and gives exposure to the sport as a whole.

For more information, email Kim White at

December 8, 2011

Bring Your Own Bag Day Hits Santa Cruz on Thurs, Dec. 15th!

We are excited to announce the first ever Bring Your Own Bag Day in Santa Cruz County on Thursday, December 15!

In the spirit of holiday giving, Save Our Shores will distribute over 5,000 reusable bags to community members on Bring Your Own Bag Day with the help of our many Partner locations.

SOS will hand out custom-made, reusable canvas bags from 4-6pm at the following locations:
  • Mi Pueblo Foods in Watsonville
  • The Capitola Mall
  • Live Oak Supermarket
  • Staples
  • Scotts Valley Market
  • Kmart in Scotts Valley
  • Nob Hill

John Leopold, Santa Cruz County Supervisor, will be at Live Oak Market at 4pm to talk to residents about Santa Cruz’s progress in stopping plastic pollution in our community. Says John, "Using your own bag is a great way to help the environment and stop pollution from hitting our beaches."

  • Longtime friend of SOS Dan Haifley will also take part in the event while spreading the reusable bag cheer at the Capitola Mall!
  • 5 Safeway stores throughout the county will give away reusable shopping bags while supplies last at each of their 5 locations.
  • All 5 New Leaf Community Markets will host Double Enviro-Token Day to encourage reusable bag use and further support local non-profits!
  • Whole Foods Markets on Soquel Avenue and 41st Avenue will hand out reusable produce bags while supplies last.
  • Deluxe Foods is handing out their own bags.
  • And our friends at Charlie Hong Kong will also hand out their own bags, making this a community-wide effort supported by retailers large and small.

SOS is also partnering with the Cities of Capitola, Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, the County of Santa Cruz, and Green Waste, to conduct this county-wide reusable bag giveaway.

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

“The detrimental impacts of single-use plastic bags are indisputable. From the oil needed to manufacture and transport bags around the planet to the massive amount of plastic trash destroying our oceans, threatening marine life, and contaminating our food web, this relic of the past is a wasteful contributor to pollution,” says Mark Stone, Santa Cruz County Supervisor and author of Santa Cruz County’s ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags.

Find all you need to know at: