April 19, 2014

Local Volunteers Clean Monterey Bay Hotspots for Earth Day

Earth Day Cleanups a Huge Success with 316 Volunteers and over 1,500 lbs of trash!

Volunteer fills out her data card at the
San Lorenzo River cleanup at Water Street Bridge
SOS hosted five cleanups around the Monterey Bay and, with the help of 316 volunteers, prevented 1,505 pounds of trash and debris from polluting our waterways! The most common item found was cigarette butts.  Volunteers also found 2 television sets, a tricycle, a bag full of horse hair, 19 tires and 2 mattresses at Elkhorn Slough.  Volunteers at the Tannery by the San Lorenzo River found a heater and a roll of plastic sheeting.  Last year’s Earth Day cleanup volunteers removed 665 pounds of trash at just three sites.  This year we saw an increase in both sites and total trash removed with five sites and over 1,500 pounds of trash.

19 tires found at Elkhorn Slough cleanup
The Earth Day Cleanup is one of the largest community efforts of the year on the Central Coast. SOS is thrilled to have increased the Earth Day Cleanup effort by adding the Triple M Ranch site in Elkhorn Slough. The four remaining locations were Cowell and Main Beach, the San Lorenzo River from Water Street bridge to Soquel Street bridge, the San Lorenzo River behind the Tannery on River Street and Del Monte Beach in Monterey.

Elkhorn Slough at Triple M Ranch was the dirtiest site with over 800 pounds of waste.  Properties bordering the Elkhorn Slough are impacted by a high amount of illegal dumping.  SOS has been collaborating with local organizations to raise awareness about this fragile ecosystem and the harm that trash can have on marine life.  The San Lorenzo River at Water Street Bridge came in second with 257 pounds.  

“I was the most shocked when we rolled a jumbo TV out of a ditch right next to the gorgeous riparian marshland.  I am grateful to ALBA, the Marine Mammal Center and ESF for combining forces and removing so much waste.” said Rachel Kippen, Program Manager at Save Our Shores who lead the Elkhorn Slough site.

Thank you to the to all our partners including ALBA, The Marine Mammal Center, Elkhorn Slough Foundation, Whole Foods, The Tannery Arts Center, REI and Lindsay Jackson for their assistance in making this event a huge success.

Art Pitts helps out by hauling in trash from the
San Lorenzo River behind the Tannery on River Street
Needles found at the San Lorenzo River at the
Tannery on River Street
Sara Hutto volunteering at the Cowell and Main Beach cleanup today

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