Save Our Shores was formed as the result of a grassroots campaign to prevent oil drilling off our coast in the early 1980’s, and we’ve continued to advocate for smarter ocean policies and coastal protections ever since. Today, as we steward clean shores, healthy habitats, and living waters for a thriving Monterey Bay, we believe advocacy is one of our most effective tools. Over the last four decades we have led the way on many campaign fronts – sometimes going it alone; other times forming cross-functional policy coalitions. 

Dan Haifley, Save Our Shores

Anti-Fossil Fuel Exploration Ordinances 

In the early 1980’s we got 26 coastal communities across the state to pass local ordinances that prohibit the construction of the onshore infrastructure that would be required to support offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling. 

Lovers Point Save Our Shores

Obtaining Sanctuary Status

Working alongside local and regional ocean leaders, in 1992 we secured National Marine Sanctuary status for the Monterey Bay- the largest Marine Sanctuary in California. 

This is a grey whale icon made up of images of single-use plastic pollution items.

Plastic Pollution Mitigation

Over the last decade we have led efforts to ban polystyrene packaging and single-use plastic bags throughout Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. These ordinances that passed were among the first in the state, and we eventually saw the passage of a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. 


Now, we have launched a rigorous and robust campaign focused limiting the pollution caused by the Sinister Six. This includes:

1) Toiletry bottles

2) Mylar balloons

3) Contact lenses

4) Microfibers

5) Single-use coffee pods

6) Single-use water bottles

We will focus on this campaign for 3-5 years until we are successful in securing ordinances across Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties (including incorporated jurisdictions). 

Save Our Sand Save Our Shores Public Hearing

Saving Our Sand

In 2017 after 16 months of rallies and protests, we won a negotiated closure of the CEMEX sand mining operation in Marina, effectively putting an end to the last coastal sand mine in the U.S. The settlement agreement allows CEMEX to take sand until end 2020 at which time, the company must sell the site to a buyer(s) approved by the California Coastal Commission who will keep the land in conservation in perpetuity. 

Save Our Shores No Drilling Oceana

Saying No to Renewed Oil and Gas Exploration

With plans to shrink our Sanctuaries and open 98% of the U.S. Coast to potential new oil and gas exploration leases, the Trump administration unleashed opposition and protests around the country. On February 3, 2018, we led the largest protest in California to protect our coast. Over 1,000 people marched from Steamer Lane to Cowell Beach where we create a human billboard delivering the message ‘No Drilling!’ to this Administration’s anti-environmental cabal.

Now, we are continuing to push back on the Trump administration’s ill-advised ocean policies by:

-Participating in a state-wide coalition

-Leading a letter-to-your-congressperson campaign,

-Hosting an online petition

-Speaking at public forums

-Securing no new drilling resolutions at the municipality and county level including Santa Cruz (city and county), Capitola, Watsonville, Scotts Valley, Monterey County, Marina, Pacific Grove, and Carmel

Featured photos from top to bottom: Oceana, Save Our Shores Archives, Edward Garner, Save Our Shores x2, Oceana