February 14, 2014

Cigarette Butts get the Boot!

Local SOS Beachkeeper Takes Action Against Cigarette Butt Litter

Sienna White Gets Bait Tanks Installed near Pleasure Point

SOS announces the installation of cigarette butt receptacles along the Pleasure Point walkway.  These three receptacles, called “Bait Tanks” were installed because of one very determined SOS Beachkeeper who has collected thousands of cigarette butts in the area.  Cigarette butts are the number one trash item collected at beach and river cleanups worldwide, this simple solution can have a large impact on our trash stream making its way into the ocean.  

Sienna White is a SOS Sanctuary Steward and SOS Beachkeeper who decided to take the problem of the overwhelming amount of cigarette butt litter into her own hands.  Every week from March to December she walked the Pleasure Point to The Hook pathway and picked up over 4,400 cigarette butts!  The record amount was 174 in just one day. Her reflection on her work has been eye-opening, "Cigarette butts are so common people don't see them anymore. I would like to challenge everyone to look down on the ground, anywhere that people go, for five minutes and you will see the source of my inspiration.”

SOS volunteers have collected over 466,000 cigarette butts since 2007.  The average amount of cigarette butts per cleanup has gone from 430 in 2012 to 290 in 2013 showing a large decrease in recent months.  With more and more smoking bans and Bait Tanks being installed around town, we can predict that this number will continue to fall.  “We are so grateful for our volunteers like Sienna who are helping us work on the problem of cigarette butt litter. We thank our community for using these Bait Tanks to help address this most pervasive form of litter,” says Laura Kasa, Executive Director of SOS.

These Bait Tanks have been shown to be very effective.  In 2011, SOS installed 18 Bait Tanks in Santa Cruz and Capitola and monitored the amount of cigarette butt litter before and after the installation.  On average in Santa Cruz, there was a 70% decrease in littered butts in our 9 monitored locations and an 80% decrease in our 9 Capitola monitored locations.  We hope this example of strong citizen action and creating change will spread throughout our community. 

For more information, please contact Laura Kasa, Executive Director at Save Our Shores at (917) 664-7066 or lkasa@saveourshores.org.  You can always find us on the web at www.saveourshores.org.

February 13, 2014

The Secret History of the Monterey Bay-Event on February 26th

Public Lecture about the changes the Monterey Bay faces and how Marine Protected Areas can help

 Save Our Shores (SOS) and the Sanctuary Exploration Center (SEC) invites you to dive deep beneath the Monterey Bay with local author and prize winning photographer, Marc Shargel, reveals the Secret History of the Monterey Bay on February 26th from 5:30pm-9pm. Shargel will share his photography collected from over 35 years of diving off the California Coast. Through historic photos and his own stunning imagery, Shargel will illustrate a little-known chronicle of human use and human impact upon the life in Monterey Bay. Based on his recently published booklet, Yesterday’s Ocean: A History of Marine Life on California’s Central Coast, he will tell the stories of fish from sharks to sardines, and creatures from abalone to otters.

Since before the Mission era, Californians have depended on their ocean for food, jobs, recreation, and more. Our use of marine life has rarely been planned, and only recently the state of California has begun to understand the ecological consequences of over use.  Shargel worked hard with other local stakeholders and scientists to get our local Marine Protected Areas formed in 2007.  Similar to parks on land protect special lands and wildlife from overdevelopment, these underwater parks preserve California’s stunning marine ecosystems for future generations to observe and enjoy.  The first of its kind in the nation, these areas have been called ‘hope spots’ because they are our best hope in restoring the beauty and bounty of ocean life threatened by overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction.  Shargel believes these Marine Protected Areas will make a huge difference for our marine life and he will have the pictures to prove it!

“We are so excited to have Marc Shargel join us at the SEC. His work is incredible and really instills a sense of inspiration and stewardship for our unique Monterey Bay.” said Marina Maze, Program Coordinator at Save Our Shores.

This is a free event at the Sanctuary Exploration Center on Wednesday February 26th. Light beverages and finger foods will be served, please bring your own cup, plate and utensil to help us make this a zero waste event. Not only is this an opportunity to learn more about Santa Cruz and our amazing coastline, it opens the doors to get involved with Save Our Shores and the Sanctuary Exploration Center on a deeper level. From 5:30-6:30pm SOS and SEC staff invites you to learn more about the Docent Program at the SEC and the Sanctuary Steward Program with SOS. Doors open at 5:30pm, with the lecture beginning at 6:30. The lecture will conclude with a question and answer period and book signing with Shargel.

For more information, please contact Marina Maze, Program Coordinator at Save Our Shores at (831) 462-5660 x2 or marina@saveourshores.org.  You can always find us on the web at www.saveourshores.org.