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Beach Cleanup Results

July 5, 2013—Outreach to July 4 beachgoers and the strategic placement of Dumpsters on key heavily visited beaches on the popular holiday seem to have paid off in the fight against beach pollution. Hours after its Star Spangled Beach Cleanup effort came to an end, marine conservation group Save Our Shores reports that volunteers collected less trash from beaches than in 2012—even though their efforts were spread over 11 beaches, compared with seven last year.

It seems that July 4 beach visitors are getting the message. In addition to its annual Pollution Prevention is Patriotic effort, in which volunteers hand out trash bags to beachgoers on July 4, Save Our Shores this year funded the rental of four Dumpsters placed at Main/Cowell, Davenport, Seabright and Twin Lakes beaches. According to a statement from Save Our Shores, state parks personnel said the Dumpsters helped alleviate overflowing of regular trash receptacles. As part of yesterday's pollution prevention effort, Save Our Shores volunteers handed out 2,255 trash and recycling bags at seven busy beaches in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

The total poundage of trash and recyclables collected this morning was 1,497, compared with 1,587 collected on July 5, 2012. The three dirtiest beaches (as judged by poundage of trash removed) were Cowell/Main Beach (332 pounds), Seabright Beach (213 pounds) and Moran Lake Beach (167 pounds). At Cowell/Main, volunteers found high numbers of cigarette butts, fireworks remains and food wrappers. The plastic wrappers from straws attached to juice boxes were a commonly found item.

The number of cleanup volunteers was up this year—269 compared with 238 in 2012. Nine of the beaches cleaned up this morning were in Santa Cruz County; two were in Monterey.

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