July 10, 2013

A Very Successful Star Spangled Cleanup

Thousands of eager beachgoers from cities around California choose the Santa Cruz and Monterey coastline for their annual Fourth of July getaway. It's a beautiful place to soak up some sun and enjoy a picnic or barbeque with family.

A 26-person pollution prevention and awareness team hit the beaches on July 4 to hand out 2,255 trash and recycling bags to visitors. They spoke to 4,517 beachgoers about plastic pollution and ways to prevent it. Engaging the community in a positive manner is key to getting everyone on board.

Save Our Shores also funded the rental of four dumpsters placed at Twin Lakes, Davenport, Cowell/Main and Seabright beaches. This ensured that much of the trash that might have ended up in the water landed where it belonged. In previous years, the small trash cans on these beaches were overflowing.

Community members arrived early Friday morning to clean up the aftermath of holiday fun. A total of 269 Bay Area volunteers participated in the Save Our Shores Star Spangled Beach Cleanup.  They scoured 11 beaches and recovered a total of 1,497 pounds of trash.

Santa Cruz cleanups took place at Cowell/Main, Seabright, Twin Lakes, Moran Lake, Capitola, Panther, It’s Beach, Davenport Main and Seacliff/Rio Del Mar Beaches. Monterey County cleanups took place at Del Monte Beach at Wharf #2, and Carmel Beach.

However, there is still plenty of work that needs to be done. This year’s top three dirtiest beaches were Cowell/Main Beach with 332 pounds, Seabright Beach 213 pounds and Moran Lake Beach with 167 pounds.

The data from this year’s cleanup is very promising. Last year, 238 volunteers gathered 1,587 pounds of garbage at just seven beaches. Less garbage on more beaches is a great sign that campaigns are making an impact.

"We appreciate the community working with us to keep our beaches clean this July 4th and we hope that can continue throughout the busy summer season. We were happy to see that the beaches were much cleaner this year, it was a great effort by all,” said Laura Kasa, executive director of Save Our Shores.

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