Save Our Shores hosts the Monterey Bay’s largest Earth Day cleanup effort every year. The three-hour long event is responsible for removing thousands of pounds of trash from beaches and waterways across the California Central Coast. This year, Save Our Shores organized 11 cleanup sites stretching 60 miles of coastline from Davenport Main Beach in Santa Cruz County to Carmel City Beach in Monterey County.
Our 8th annual Earth Day cleanup effort had one of our most successful turnouts! More than 326 volunteers prevented 9,226 pounds of trash from entering the Monterey Bay. When split by county, 389 Santa Cruz volunteers removed 5,159 pounds of waste and 147 Monterey volunteers removed 4,067 pounds of waste.
Katherine O’Dea, our Executive Director, applauds the results. “We are extremely grateful to our Sanctuary Stewards, hundreds of citizen volunteers, and sponsors who made our Earth Day trash removal events such a tremendous success. It is testament to the strong marine conservation ethic that exists across our community from Davenport to Carmel.”
Of the 11 cleanup sites, ALBA Triple M Ranch and the Elkhorn Slough received the deepest cleansing. Volunteers and dedicated Sanctuary Stewards removed 3,800 pounds of waste from Triple M Ranch and 4,060 pounds of waste from the Elkhorn Slough. That’s 3.93 tons of trash! The waste came from illegal dump sites hidden around sensitive habitats. While Save Our Shores would prefer to find no trash, we are glad to remove waste from these inland sites before El Niño storms wash the bounty down to the ocean.
Items ranged from large household appliances and auto parts to small plastic products and pre-production nurdles. By far, the most common item collected was cigarette butts and plastic water-bottle caps.
None of this would be possible without the support and dedication of our volunteers, site captains, sponsors, and partners. Coordinating such a mass cleanup effort takes extensive community involvement. Save Our Shores thanks:
Nonprofit and Organization Collaborators
- Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA): Led Triple M Ranch cleanup
- California Coastal Commission: Cowell and Main in Santa Cruz and Del Monte in Monterey Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris monitoring program
- Coastal Watershed Council: Supported the San Lorenzo Cleanup
- Community Foundation Monterey County: Supported Monterey County cleanups
- LKD of the Student Oceanography Club: Sponsored Sand City Beach cleanup
- The Elkhorn Slough Foundation: Supported the Elkhorn Slough cleanup
- The Elkhorn Slough Estuarine Research Reserve Visitor Center: Led Elkhorn Slough cleanup
- Seaside Walking Action Group: Led Monterey State Beach cleanup
Jurisdictions and Permitting
- The County of Santa Cruz
- The County of Santa Cruz, Public Works Department
- The County of Santa Cruz, Parks and Recreation
- The City of Santa Cruz
- The County of Monterey
- The City of Monterey
- California State Parks
- Green Waste: Provided hauling in Santa Cruz County
- Waste Management: Provided dumpsters, hauling, and weighing
- City of Santa Cruz Sanitation: Provided hauling at City of Santa Cruz run sites
- City of Monterey: Provided waste hauling for City of Monterey sites
- Chase Hauling: Picked up speciality and difficult to remove items such as tires and appliances.
- Carmel Residents Association: Led Carmel City Beach cleanup
- Castroville Elementary School
- MacQuiddy Elementary School
- Mountain Elementary School
- Mount Madonna School
- North Monterey County High School
- Pacific Collegiate School
- San Jose State University
- Nordic Naturals: Sponsored Cowell and Main Beach Cleanup