Save Our Shores 2016 Earth Day


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.


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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

Jurisdictions and Permitting

Waste Hauling

Residential Associations


Business Supporters



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