July 23, 2012

Win a SCUBA trip or a private party sail in our Summer Raffle!

Our ever-popular Summer Raffle is Back!  
Don't miss your chance to win these incredible Grand Prizes:
  • A private, 2 hour sail on the Chardonnay II for you and 47 friends
  • A Valley Storm Surf Kayak
  • A 3-day, live-aboard SCUBA trip to the Southern Channel Islands with Worldwide Diving Adventures! Trip takes place on Memorial Day Weekend, 2013
  • A 2-night getaway at beautiful Costanoa Lodge in their one-of-a-kind Bungalows!
  • A  4-hour double kayak rental from Kayak Connections

To purchase your $5 Summer Raffle tickets: 

Need not be present to win!  Summer Raffle winners will be chosen at the Toast to the Coast beach party on Sunday, August 26th.

Get your tickets for the Toast to the Coast today! 

When: Sunday, August 26, 5 -10 pm

Where: On the sand at Seascape Beach Resort, Aptos

At the Toast to the Coast, you'll watch the sunset on the Bay, then kick of your shoes to dance the night away! Attendees will enjoy the beauty of hula dance as you sip on locally produced beer and wine and mingle with like-minded ocean advocates.

For dinner, Seascape provides an impressive, full spread featuring a sustainable clambake!

See all the fun we had last year... 

July 17, 2012

First Tsunami Debris Found on Santa Cruz Beach

It was just another beautiful day at the beach...

When Brendan, Santa Cruz native and longtime friend of Save Our Shores staffer Dayna Zimmerman, stumbled upon a mysterious object while enjoying a nice, relaxing day at Rio Del Mar State Beach.

 Intrigued, he walked over to get a closer look.

To his surprise, it was a blue buoy with Japanese lettering, pictured in the photos here.

He knew right away that this buoy washed ashore from the Japanese tsunami last year.

A man of the sea, Brendan knew to take special precaution with the buoy, noting that barnacles and invasive species from far off lands are always a topic of concern among boaters, fishermen, and ocean conservationists alike.

He then took the buoy home and contacted NOAA.
NOAA officials said his was the very first report of tsunami debris found here on the Central Coast.

What will wash up on Central Coast beaches is still yet to be seen, but the evidence is in: tsunami debris is coming, and it's coming fast.

Save Our Shores will be tracking tsunami debris found during our beach and river cleanups and will keep you posted on what we find.

Find out how to respond to tsunami debris on our Tsunami Debris Response page...

Before Brendan's blue buoy on Rio Del Mar State Beach this July, an entire 66-foot cement dock traveled all the way across the ocean from the Northeast coast of Japan to rest on Oregon's Agate Beach. In Alaska, a prized Harley Davidson from Japan was recovered on a remote beach in May, and since then, plastic bottles, Styrofoam, and hundreds upon hundreds of buoys have continued to litter Alaskan shores in surges of debris.

July 13, 2012

Local Plastic Bag Bans Work!

One month after Santa Cruz County's plastic bag ban went into effect, Save Our Shores Sanctuary Steward Michael Ray took a survey at three local Safeway stores. He asked 150 customers on their way out of the store if they had:
  1. brought their reusable bag with them
  2. paid the fee for paper bags at checkout
  3. not used/needed a bag at checkout

He found that 85% of people did not use paper bags at checkout. 

This is GREAT news, as it shows that people are doing the right thing: bringing their reusable bags, or not taking a bag at all! The survey was taken back in April, and we except that the use of reusable bags has since increased.

Here's an update on bag bans around the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary:

  • The City of Monterey's bag ban took effect on July 1, 2012. Monterey was lucky enough to escape legal pressure from the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition and passed their ban without too much hassle. SOS celebrated with Monterey by handing out hundreds of free reusable bags that day!
  • The City of Carmel just passed their plastic bag ban and it takes effect on January 3, 2013. The Carmel city ordinance does not include a fee on paper bags for now, and incentives for customers to bring their reusable bags are being created.
  • The City of Watsonville passed their plastic bag ban on April 24, 2012. It takes effect on July 24!  

  • The Santa Cruz County ban on single-use plastic bags took effect on March 20, 2012. After over 2 years in the making, and a lawsuit filed by the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition, this ordinance will protect our marine environment from the blight of plastic pollution.
  • San Mateo County's REGIONAL ban is in the works! It will govern all 18 jurisdictions in San Mateo County, as well as 6 in Santa Clara County. It's estimated vote will take place in December. Take Action to support San Mateo's region bag ban!

July 5, 2012

Local Volunteers Save Monterey Bay from 1,587 lbs. of Pollution at the July 5th Star Spangled Beach Cleanup!

This morning, 238 Star Spangled Beach Cleanup volunteers prevented1,587 pounds of trash and debris from polluting our beaches, trashing our environment, and harming marine wildlife at the legendary July 5th Star Spangled Beach Cleanup.  

See our photo album...

The North County Trashbusters, a mobile group of five SOS Sanctuary Stewards, surveyed north Santa Cruz County’s most polluted beaches this morning, a brand new effort put in place this year to maximize cleanup efforts on the beaches that needed it the most. The North County Trashbusters found Panther Beach completely trashed, and worked diligently to remove the 245 pounds of debris that was left behind there.

Top 3 dirtiest beaches, in order, determined by total poundage removed only, were:
  • Seabright State Beach with 386 pounds
  • Panther Beach with 245 pounds
  • Cowell/Main Beach with 183 pounds

The Star Spangled Beach Cleanups took place in Santa Cruz County at Panther Beach, Davenport Beach, Cowell/Main Beach, Seabright State Beach, Twin Lakes State Beach, Moran Lake, and Seacliff/Rio Del Mar Beaches. Monterey County cleanups took place at Del Monte Beach at Wharf #2, and Carmel Beach.

Said Andrew Hoeksema, Coordinator of Volunteer Programs at SOS, "We achieved our goal: to have our volunteers find less trash than in years past! This is the best way to demonstrate that our year-round pollution prevention efforts are working. A big thanks to our July 4th Pollution Prevention Team who talked to over 5,600 people yesterday about keeping our beaches clean, and to 238 volunteers who cleaned up the beach with us this morning.”

Declaring their independence from plastic pollution, the July 4th Pollution Prevention Team consisted of 40 volunteers who handed out nearly 1,700 trash and recycling bags at six high-traffic beaches in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. The July 4th Pollution Prevention team spoke to 5,660 beach goers about plastic pollution yesterday, an effort which has proved critical in stemming the tide of pollution left behind on area beaches by the thousands of visitors and revelers each 4th of July holiday.

“We appreciate the beachgoers who packed their trash out and kept the beaches clean this July 4th. With reduced State Beach maintenance this summer, our pollution prevention efforts and beach cleanups will be more critical than ever before,” said Laura Kasa, executive director of Save Our Shores.

Find out more at saveourshores.org...