2013 Coastal Cleanup Day Results

Sept. 23, 2013—If you were one of the 3,064 volunteers who took to the beaches and waterways of Monterey Bay on Saturday, Sept. 21 to pick up trash and recyclables as part of Coastal Cleanup Day, the rest of us owe you. You each plucked an average of 5.6 pounds of yuck from our beaches, streams and rivers—14,517 pounds of trash and 2,630 pounds of recyclables.

According to figures released by Save Our Shores, the top five cleanup sites by poundage were Elkhorn Slough Estuarine Research Reserve, with an estimated 4,800 pounds; Felton Covered Bridge Park with 2,700 pounds; Upper Carr Lake (outside of Salinas) with 1,166 pounds; San Lorenzo River at Fillmore Street in Ben Lomond at 832 pounds; and Struve Slough at Ramsey Park in Watsonville at 817 pounds.

Read 2013 Star Spangled Beach Cleanup Results
Read The Cleanest Beaches in Santa Cruz County
Read Save Our Shores Launches Beachkeepers Program

Notice something about those five sites? They're all inland. Creeks and rivers used to be the redheaded stepchildren of coastal cleanup efforts, ignored in favor of beaches. But that seems to be changing, and apparently those inland sites need the attention.

In Santa Cruz County, 2,025 volunteers turned out to collect 9,118 pounds of debris in the three-hour cleanup on Saturday. In Monterey County, a little more than half that number of volunteers—1,039—fanned out to gather up almost the same amount of trash and recyclables: 8,029 pounds. (Inquiring minds want to know: are they quicker picker-uppers in Monterey? Or do litterbugs just dump more sofas and tires down there?)

If you want to get involved, Save Our Shores conducts reoccurring monthly cleanups in Santa Cruz County on the 3rd Saturday of each month, as well as in Monterey County on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10am-noon.  SOS also coordinates cleanups at Davenport Main Beach on the 1st Saturday of the month from 9am to 11am.