April 25, 2012

City of Watsonville Passes Plastic Bag Ban - to Take Effect in Three Months!

Save Our Shores is happily celebrating the swift decision by the Watsonville City Council last night to enact a ban on single-use plastic bags!

Watsonville City staff handed out colorful reusable bags to all Councilmembers, as well as everyone in attendance during public comment.

Save Our Shores’ Executive Director Laura Kasa made the last public comment in support of the ban, noting that less than 5% of plastic bags are ever recycled. She shared with the Council that both the Shoreway Environmental Center and the Sunnyvale Materials Recovery Center do not even accept plastic bags into their recycling centers. Kasa also explained that Save Our Shores cleanups have recovered 34,000 plastic bags since data collection began in the summer of 2007.

Kasa concluded her public comment by stating, “A ban on plastic bags will end the over 8,000 plastic bags a year that pollute our local environment.”

In a surprising turn of events following Kasa’s public comment, Watsonville Mayor Eduardo Montesino amended the ordinance to go into effect in three months time, rather than the standard six.

Each of the City Councilmembers, except Councilmember Bilicich, voted in favor of the ban. There were no public comments in opposition.

Councilmember Felipe Hernandez bought his green reusable bag that he picked up at the Watsonville Earth Day festival to reinforce that a fee on paper bags is a good deterrent that will help people to remember their reusable bags.  Said Hernandez, “I was on a cleanup recently where I picked up so many plastic bags I was amazed. It was almost as many as the number of cigarette butts I collected”. 

“This (ban) is a great idea. Plastic is awful.  It’s about time we do something about it,” said Councilmember Oscar Rios. “It’s just a matter of time for people to get used to the change, and when we have to pay 10 cents to bag a few items, we’ll start remembering to bring our own bags.”

Kasa said , “Last week, Save Our Shores went out to Safeway locations and found that out of the 450 shoppers we surveyed, only 83 were using paper bags, 203 were using reusable bags and 164 were using no bag at all. This means over 80% of shoppers changed their behavior toward reusable bag use since the Santa Cruz County ban was implemented just one month ago.”

Save Our Shores believes it takes action, local leaders, and citizen support to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. We thank our Supporters, Stewards, volunteers, and fellow ocean advocates for joining us on the quest for cleaner, greener communities. 
Keep up the great work!

April 23, 2012

Over 555 Volunteers Take Action for Earth Day 2012!

Our ecstatic thanks goes out to the over 555 community volunteers who banded together to prevent 853 pounds of pollution from entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on Saturday, April 21.

With at least fifteen different school, civic, religious, and business groups participating, three Adopt-a-Levee groups on the San Lorenzo River, and hundreds of drop-in volunteers in both Santa Cruz and
Monterey, today marked the single-largest Earth Day cleanup effort to hit Monterey Bay.

Four public cleanups took place at the following locations: 
  • San Lorenzo River Cleanup at Water Street Bridge
  • Cowell/Main Beach
  • Manresa State Beach Cleanup sponsored by Nordic Naturals
  • Del Monte Beach at Wharf #2 in Monterey

In addition, three Adopt-a-Levee groups held cleanups on the San Lorenzo River: 
  • The Sunrise Rotary Club cleaned between Felker St. and the Water St. Bridge
  • Albert’s Organics was at Laurel St. Bridge to Riverside Ave. Bridge
  • The Rotary Club of Santa Cruz cleaned between the Riverside Ave. Bridge and the river-mouth.

The four river cleanups along the San Lorenzo River in downtown Santa Cruz removed a total 315 pounds
of pollution from our local watershed. Of that, 244 pounds were trash and 71 pounds were recyclables.

Out at the beaches of Cowell/Main Beach, Manresa State Beach, and Del Monte Beach in Monterey, over 420 volunteers worked together to prevent 459 pounds of trash and 79 pounds of recycling, for a total 538 pounds of pollution removed from area beaches in under three hours!

"With over 550 volunteers, this year was our biggest volunteer effort ever on Earth Day! It is so exciting to
see volunteers from Santa Cruz to Aptos to Monterey all working hard to care for this amazing corner of
the earth.  And what a perfect weekend for people to get outdoors to volunteer for and celebrate the earth."
said Andrew Hoeksema, Coordinator of Volunteer Programs at Save Our Shores.

SUPPORT healthy oceans and clean communities all year long by becoming a Member today!

“It’s incredible, really. Last year, over 2,400 pounds of pollution and debris were removed from just two
cleanup sites. This year, we had seven cleanup sites, over 550 volunteers, and just over 850 pounds of
pollution and debris were recovered. The Save Our Shores team considers this a great victory in the
ongoing quest for healthy oceans. More people pitching in and less pollution found than in past years
makes us very, very happy,” Says Colleen Bednarz, Communications Coordinator at Save Our Shores.

Thank you, volunteers! Thank you, Supporters! YOU makes this all possible.

April 19, 2012

Earth Day is Everyday When you Join Save Our Shores

Earth Day is every day when you Save Our Shores for your ocean community!

Give back to the earth - DONATE today!

Calling all ocean-lovers, friends of the California sea otters and sea lions, and tree-huggers everywhere...

YOU can protect your favorite marine animals, beautify the banks of your rivers, and create a cleaner, greener more ocean-aware community for Earth Day this year.
  • Your Donation will fuel the fight against plastic pollution in your backyard.
  • It will inspire and educate future generations to follow in your footsteps.
  • And it will prevent nearly 30,000 lbs. of pollution from entering your Marine Sanctuary.

It takes a community to Save Our Shores and protect our Marine Sanctuary. Join us!

Give Back to the earth with your Earth Day DONATION today!
  • For $500, you'll fund the Sanctuary Steward training course.
  • For $250, you'll fund a river cleanup - messier and more costly than a beach cleanup, but three times as effective for preventing marine debris.
  • For $100, you'll fund a public beach cleanup along a half mile stretch of your favorite beach.
  • For $50, you'll bring a classroom of students to a local beach cleanup.

Thank you for creating a cleaner, greener Monterey Bay!

Your friends at Save Our Shores

April 7, 2012

Volunteer for Earth Day on Saturday, April 21st!

Calling all earth-lovers of Monterey Bay!

Join Save Our Shores on Saturday, April 21st to clean up your communities AND your planet at one of four Earth Day cleanups in Santa Cruz and Monterey:

  • San Lorenzo River Cleanup at Water Street Bridge in Santa Cruz: 10am-1pm
  • Beach Cleanup at Cowell/Main Beach in Santa Cruz: 10am-Noon
  • Beach Cleanup at Manresa State Beach, sponsored by Nordic Naturals: 10am-Noon
  • Beach Cleanup at Del Monte Beach in Monterey: 10am-Noon

Earth Day 2012 boasts more SOS cleanups than ever before, making this the single-largest Earth Day cleanup to hit Monterey Bay! In 2011, 300 volunteers removed over 2,400 pounds of pollution from just two cleanup locations in Santa Cruz County. Thank you, volunteers, you rule!

For more information visit our Earth Day page or contact Andrew at 831.462.5660 ext. 3, or volunteer@saveourshores.org.

All cleanup materials will be provided but volunteers are always encouraged to bring their own reusable buckets, bags, water bottles, and gloves to help decrease trash.

SOS is also coordinating volunteerism at the Santa Cruz Earth Day Festival in San Lorenzo Park from 11am-5pm. The Santa Cruz Earth Day Festival is a free, family-friendly event organized by Ecology Action, the County of Santa Cruz, and the City of Santa Cruz. Those interested in volunteering for the Festival must register online here...

The 2012 Festival is Sponsored by Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, New Leaf Community Markets, Nordic Naturals, Ecology Action, Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, Save Our Shores, the City of Santa Cruz, Resource Conservation District Santa Cruz County, Lollytree Toys, Blue Heron Design Group, Community Printers, Santa Cruz Weekly, and the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Thanks to everyone involved for making Earth Day 2012 a community event to remember!

April 5, 2012

Who do you Ride for? Check out the Slow Coast Green Fondo

On Sunday, April 29, the first annual Slow Coast Green Fondo hits Santa Cruz - bringing cyclists, local non-profits, community members, and big-race enthusiast together for a one of a kind fundraising and sporting event!

Partnering with the Tour of California-SC County Stage, this unique event is sure to grow each year. And the funds raised for five local non-profits will support community efforts and a better world! How could you go wrong with The Green Fondo?

Are you a cyclist looking for a new challenge?
From 8am-1pm, the 56-mile ride around beautiful 'Slow Coast' Santa Cruz County will feature unbeatable scenery, and starts at Kelly's Bakery on the West side of Santa Cruz.

The Dinner:
There will be a 3-course, Slow Food dinner from 3:30-6pm held at the delicious Main Street Garden Cafe, which will nourish and replenish after an eventful day on the course.

Top Event Prizes will include:
  • A Seat in Lead Pace Car for the Tour of California – San Francisco to Santa Cruz Stage
  • VIP Passes to Tour of California – Santa Cruz Stage
  • A custom, Calfee Bamboosero Frame
  • And more….

About the event:
The Slow Coast Green Fondo is themed around local green solutions for everyday living, from food choices to transportation & energy choices. The Green Expo will be an opportunity for the community to connect with green businesses and learn how to get involved with Green industries and grow the green economy.

Find out all you need to know at: http://greenfondo.com/blog/?page_id=122

April 3, 2012

Fabulously all-natural Sugar Reef products by LaLicious support marine conservation efforts throughout April!

LaLicious is an all-natural bath and body company specializing in scrubs, body butters, soap, oils, gifts, and lip butter - and did we mention their products are absolutely to die for?!

For the entire month of April, LaLicious has pledged to donate 20% of all sales from the Sugar Reef Collection to Save Our Shores to help in providing care for the marine environment.

The Sugar Reef line includes the Sugar Souffle Scrub, Body Butter, and Body Oil, and each are 'clean and refreshing like an ocean breeze with notes of casaba melon, white tea, and ginger. A splash of sweetness is the perfect addition to this crisp and delightful scent!'

Thank you, LaLicious! We are stoked to have your support during Earth Month!