Save Our Shores is excited to announce another successful year of July Fourth Holiday Relief efforts. Every year, SOS organizes the Pollution Prevention is Patriotic outreach campaign on July 4th, followed by the annual Star Spangled Cleanup effort on July 5th.
On the holiday, a team of 41 volunteers handed out 1,611 trash and recycling bags at six high-traffic beaches in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. In just four hours, the group spoke to 3,000 beachgoers about the impact of pollution on marine life and visitors, as well as offered tips for a litter-free holiday. This outreach effort proved critical in stemming the tide of trash on our coastline during the weekend.
“So many people said ‘thank you’ today that we hope to pick up less trash tomorrow, that’s the idea,” said Ali Eppy, SOS Sanctuary Steward, reflecting on the outreach effort.
SOS then hosted 11 cleanups on the morning of July 5th around the Monterey Bay and, with the help of 182 volunteers, prevented 2,097 pounds of debris from entering the water in just two hours.
The Star Spangled Beach Cleanup is SOS’ second largest cleanup of the year. Events were held at Davenport Main Beach, Cowell and Main Beach, Seabright State Beach, Twin Lakes State Beach, Sunny Cove, Moran Lake, Seacliff State Beach, Hidden Beach, Casa Verde Beach, Del Monte City Beach and Carmel City Beach.
Cowell and Main Beach was the dirtiest site with more than 676 pounds of waste removed. Davenport Main Beach came in second with 412 pounds of trash. The most common items found were cigarette butts and fireworks. Volunteers also found broken beach chairs, barbecue grills and pop up tents.
“We tend to get nervous on holidays that create a three-day weekend as increased foot traffic often leads to an increase in trash left in the sand. I was pleasantly surprised by how clean many locations were this year,” said SOS Program Coordinator Bronti Patterson. “I attribute this success to our dedicated volunteers who led outreach and cleanup efforts as well as this sense of responsibility from our community to protect our beautiful coastline.”
SOS wishes to thank all of its partner organizations and sponsors for the weekend, including IMG_8481

The California Coastal Commission
Rio Del Mar Improvement Association
The Carmel Residents Association
New Leaf Community Markets
Seagate Technologies
Rainbowlight Nutritional Systems

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