This new Save Our Shores program removes debris from the waterways of the Salinas River, Elkhorn Slough, and Pajaro River. Cleanups by kayak allow us to cleanup hard-to-reach places in important habitats.

Save Our Shores Kayak Shay Hlavaty

Paddle Cleanup Process

Participants are paired in double kayaks and work to retrieve debris from our shorelines. Volunteers enjoy the beautiful setting and leave the waterway cleaner than they found it! Local outfitters provide the boats, paddles, and life jackets and Save Our Shores provides the cleanup supplies. After the cleanup volunteers are welcome to stay and help sort the collected debris and record data. 

Zoomed in photo of the backside of a Save Our Shores general bilingual data card on a wooden floor.

Recording Data

Data is collected at these paddle cleanups to record the amount and types of debris that are polluting the waterways that feed into the Monterey Bay. We share this information with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who utilizes it to understand the amount of pollutants originating in our freshwater sources. The data also helps us understand how healthy or unhealthy habitats may be. 


Want to join us for one of these events? Check out our calendar of events for upcoming paddle cleanups. Reservations are required, and keep in mind that these events have limited space and fill up quickly!

These paddle cleanups are funded in part by NOAA’s Marine Debris Program.