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Reduce Cigarette Litter

Cigarette butts are the #1 littered item around the world.

Save Our Shores staff and volunteers have removed more than 578,500 cigarette butts during beach and river cleanups bordering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary since April 2007.

ciggs_325x215Outraged by the persistence of this commonly littered item, we began working with both the cities of Santa Cruz and Capitola to identify high-traffic smoking areas in need of cigarette receptacles, also known as BaitTanks. We then placed 18 of these receptacles at the Santa Cruz Wharf, on Beach Street in Santa Cruz, along the Capitola Esplanade, and at Capitola Beach. Additional BaitTanks have recently be placed on the Monterey Wharf and other locations around town.

Marine health, not human health, is the target of this anti-cigarette campaign.

We are currently working with the City of Santa Cruz on a rebate program to help fund businesses interested in purchasing a BaitTank.

Did you know you can report littered cigarette butts in Monterey County through the online forms at Keep Monterey County Clean?

baittank06_700x394The success of the BaitTanks is incredible! Within a few months of installation, the BaitTanks have decreased cigarette butt litter by an average of 50-70 percent! On the Santa Cruz Wharf alone, a 60-77 percent decrease in littered cigarette butts has been reported, and in Capitola, a 43-60 percent decrease has been reported.


This is incredible news in the pollution-prevention world and we’re working hard to get more BaitTanks installed around the Sanctuary. Funding them is the main hurdle. Calls have been coming in from business owners and concerned citizens requesting a BaitTank in their area. If you’re interested in stemming the tide of cigarette-butt litter, consider funding a BaitTank for your community. Contact rachel(at) to learn more.