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3,491 Volunteers Remove Over 8 Tons of Pollution During Annual Coastal Cleanup Day 2012 in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties!

The largest volunteer effort on the planet hit Monterey Bay on September 15 and it was a huge success, thanks to all of you!

This year's Coastal Cleanup Day brought 3,491 volunteers together at over 70 cleanup sites throughout Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties to prevent 16,827 lbs. of pollution and debris from trashing our Sanctuary and littering our communities.

Thank you to all of the volunteers, Site Captains, Supporting Businesses, Sponsors, supporters, and local business, school, church and civic groups who made this year's Coastal Cleanup Day such a monumental success for ocean conservation!


Photos: The Toast to the Coast Went off with a Bang!

Thank you to all of you who joined us for the Toast to the Coast on August 26!
See our photo album...

We solute all of our supporters and friends for making the 2012 Toast to the Coast a perfect evening on Monterey Bay.


SOS Steps in to Keep State Beaches Clean Despite Cutbacks

The State Park funding fiasco continues for our local State Beaches, but that hasn't stopped Save Our Shores Donors from protecting their favorite beaches! Thanks to the help of our ocean-loving community, SOS was able to purchase six Pollution Preventions signs with attached trash and Mutt Mitt bag dispensers to install at Twin Lakes and Seabright Beaches.

The signs encourage visitors to pack their trash and take stewardship of our State Beaches into their own two hands.

See our photo album of the Twin Lakes Sign unveiling...
YOU can help, too: DONATE in honor of your favorite beach!

State Beaches Suffer from Budget Cuts & Decreased Upkeep!

The beaches of Twin Lakes - including the Harbor, Black's, and Seabright Beach - as well as Zmudowski State Beach will suffer from decreased maintenance and upkeep beginning July 1.

Save Our Shores is calling for immediate help from the community and visitors alike to protect our local beaches from mounting debris and trash!

Here's how you can help: DONATE in honor of your favorite beach!

Locals Save Monterey Bay from 1,587 lbs. of Pollution!

On the morning of July 5th, 238 volunteers participated in the 2012 Star Spangled Beach Cleanup and prevented a total of 1,587 lbs. of pollution from littering our beaches and entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

And on July 4th, 40 volunteers spread the Pollution Prevention message to 5,660 beach goers on six high-impact beaches in Santa Cruz and Monterey County, while handing out nearly 1,700 trash and recycling bags to help keep our beaches clean!

Preparing for Tsunami Debris Hitting the West Coast

In anticipation of tsunami debris washing up on our local beaches, Save Our Shores recently created an addition to our data collection that will track tsunami debris found during beach and river cleanups.

If you happen to encounter tsunami debris:

  • Be safe, use common sense, and follow general safety rules.
  • If you don't know what it is, please don't touch it.
  • If it appears hazardous, contact the authorities.
  • Report items or debris accumulations to with as much information as possible.

Find out who to contact and what to watch for on our tsunami debris response page...



A special Q&A screeing of Otter 501

Save Our Shores is excited to collaborate with Sea Studios to promote Otter 501 - the story of one otter's fight for survival in Monterey Bay. Otter 501 opens at the Nickelodeon Theater in Santa Cruz on Fri, May 18, and is currently showing at Monterey's Osio Cinema! On Thurs, May 24 at 7pm, join Members of SOS, FishWise, O'Neill Sea Odyssey, and Coastal Watershed Council for a special screening and Q&A event with the film's star and producer! Find out more about Otter 501 - the film everyone is talking about around Monterey Bay! SOS Supporting Members receive a special $2.50 discount for all showings at the Nickelodeon Theater, just print out your email announcing the event and bring it to the box office. We'll see you there!



Vote Save Our Shores into the New Leaf Envirotoken Program!

Now through the end of May: PLEASE CAST YOUR VOTE ONLINE to include Save Our Shores in New Leaf Community Market's reusable bag donation program!

Your VOTE takes less than 60 seconds. But your VOTE will continually support Save Our Shores with an average $10,000 or more through New Leaf's Envirotoken donation program this year!

Join us on June 7th for a Happy Hour on Cannery Row

When: Thursday, June 7, from 5-7pm
Where: Light and Motion, 300 Cannery Row, Monterey

For our friends and ocean-advocates in Monterey County, join us for a FREE happy hour event to Kickoff the Summer of Clean Beaches and celebrate World Oceans Day together! The happy hour takes place right on the water at beautiful Cannery Row, thanks to our friends at Light and Motion. Learn how you can Take Action and support ocean conservation in your own backyard by joining forces with Save Our Shores. We'll supply the appetizers and drinks!
See our event flyer and pass it 'round!



May 12th was The Human Race & Clean Beaches Bash!

The Human Race: Thanks to all of you who supported or participated in the Human Race 2012! Event participants got outdoors and had tons of fun along beautiful West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz at The Human Race Walkathon & Fun Run with Team SOS! Those who raised or donated $100 through the Human Race receivde two tickets to the Clean Beaches Bash!

Later that night, we celebrated at the Clean Beaches Bash at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. Folks joined us for tasty drinks, savory finger food, good music and good times to kickoff the Summer of Clean Beaches together.


Save Our Shores Crowned Best Non-Profit for 2012

Thank you for voting Save Our Shores as Best Non-Profit in the Good Times Best Of Poll for 2012! We couldn't do it without the support from our incredible community - and that means all of YOU! From the Good Times Best Of Write-Up:
Figuring out how to tackle this “California Challenge,” as the org is calling it, won’t be easy, especially considering the fact that the state recently cut $100,000 of Save Our Shores’ funding. But, if anyone can do it, it will be the nonprofit that, with just five staff members over the course of five years, prevented 178,764 pounds of trash from entering the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary — that’s the equivalent of the weight of six grey whales or 620 harbor seals.



Earth Day Volunteers Make a World of Difference for the Ocean

The largest Earth Day volunteer effort yet to hit Monterey Bay took place at seven cleanup locations in Santa Cruz andMonterey Counties. We want to thank the over 550 volunteers who worked together to protect our ocean and watersheds on Saturday, April 21st! The impressive force of volunteers prevented nearly 900 pounds of pollution from entering our Sanctuary and harming marine life! Find out more in our press release...

We want to thank all of our Supporters for making this possible! This includes the folks of Earth Groove, a dance party benefit for Save Our Shores, the Relove and Todo Mate sidewalk sale event that also benefitted Save Our Shores, and LaLicious - for donating proceeds from their line of Sugar Reef products all month long in honor of Earth Day!

Who do you Ride for? The Slow Coast Green Fondo

On Sunday, April 29, the first annual Slow Coast Green Fondo hits Santa Cruz - bringing cyclists, non-profits, community members, and big-race enthusiast together for a one of a kind fundraising and sporting event!

Are you a cyclist looking for a new challenge?
From 8am-1pm, the 56-mile ride around beautiful 'Slow Coast' Santa Cruz County will feature unbeatable scenery. The 3-course Slow Food dinner from 3:30-6pm at Main Street Garden Cafe will nourish and replenish. The funds raised for five local non-profits will support community efforts and a better world.


The Santa Cruz County Plastic Bag Ban Takes Effect March 20!

Thank you, Santa Cruz County! When you bring your reusable bags with you, you are single-handedly protecting our ocean and cleaning up your community by stopping plastic pollution. Read more...

Are you ready for the end of single-use plastic bags in Santa Cruz County? The bag ban begins on Tuesday, March 20, and only affects markets and retail stores in unincorporated Santa Cruz County.

FREE reusable bags will be distributed at Safeway markets on March 20!
* From 12-2pm at Redwood Shopping Center on 41st Avenue.
* And from 4-6pm, at Felton Fair Shopping Center, and Rancho del Mar Shopping Center in Aptos.

Vote for Save Our Shores as Best Non-Profit

The polls are open for the Good Times Santa Cruz's Best Of poll: Vote for Save Our Shores as Best Non-Profit in the 'Best of the Rest' category!

Our community is growing more and more each year thanks to our wonderful Stewards, Supporters, and volunteers. THANK YOU!! We would not be able to do it without you. Cheers to a most successful 2012 in the Save Our Shores family!!


Help us Meet the California Challenge for 2012!

Did you hear the news? We need to reclaim $100,000 in state and federal funding that was cut from our programs for 2012. This means your favorite non-profit needs your support more than ever before! Please help!

DONATE today to keep your local beaches clean, your Sanctuary protected, and your school children education about the marine ecosystem.
ACT NOW to donate to Save YOUR Shores!


Bring Your Own Bag Day is Thurs, December 15 in Santa Cruz

Did you know the average American uses 500 disposable plastic bags a year? And that less than 5% of those are recycled after only one use?

Ditch the disposables for Bring Your Own Bag Day on Thursday, December 15th in Santa Cruz County. Save Our Shores will be on location from 4-6pm to hand out 1,000 free reusable bags at Mi Pueblo market in Watsonville, The Capitola Mall, Live Oak Market, Kmart, and Scotts Valley Market.

Thousands of additional reusable bags will be given out by participating stores throughout the county including at Safeway stores, New Leaf Community Markets (it's Double Enviro-Token Day!), Whole Foods (they are handing out produce bags!), Charlie Hong Kong, Staples, Best Buy, Savemart, and Macy's.
Find locations and information about BYOB Day...


Now Recruiting for the 2012 Class of Sanctuary Stewards

Sanctuary Stewards are the volunteer leaders of Save Our Shores. They run beach cleanups, staff community events, provide Marine Education Programs in our schools, and contribute their many talents and experiences to the SOS team throughout the year.

Each February, a new class of Stewards begin a dynamic spring training session where they learn the skills and knowledge they need to start an exciting season of leadership on behalf of the marine environment. Sanctuary Stewards are the backbone of Save Our Shores. Learn more and APPLY ONLINE today!
Read about the rewarding life of a Sanctuary Steward in this blog post...

Your Donation will be MATCHED by Monterey County Gives!

Save Our Shores was recently accepted into the Monterey County Gives Program, a generous year-end giving program from the Monterey County Weekly's Community Fund! This means that when you donate through MC Gives, your contribution will be MATCHED. Your donation will rally 10,000 local volunteers to prevent 32,000 lbs. of pollution from entering our oceans AND train hundreds of students to become stewards of the marine world in over 155 classrooms a year.
Donate through Monterey County Gives before December 31st!


Santa Cruz County Sued Over Plastic Bag Ban!

The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition is at it again, and this time their sights are set on Santa Cruz County.

The lawsuit filed by this corporate interest lobbying coalition challenges the county's ban on single-use plastic bags. Save Our Shores and the County of Santa Cruz are confident this suit will follow in the footsteps of other similar lawsuits filed by the coalition - that of defeat. The right to protect our environment and communities from the blight of plastic pollution will not be silenced. Save Our Shores will keep you posted.

“The plastic bag problem is a state-wide issue, but because the state legislature failed to get it done, we had to move forward locally to make this happen,” said Supervisor Mark Stone at the meeting. “I thank the county staff and the task force for getting this done. In addition, SOS has been amazing and a real catalyst in this process.”


Dive the Coast Kickoff Event on October 15

Save Our Shores will be joining the SCUBA crew of Dive the Bay this Saturday for a kickoff calibration dive to test the waters for the larger Dive the Coast event slated to take place in 2013. The event will bring together ocean loving SCUBA divers for a common goal of raising awareness about ocean conservation. We will be talking to the group about the importance of California's Marine Protected Areas, our Underwater State Parks. Read more in our blog post...
Stay up to date on Dive the Coast on their website...

Over 4,500 Volunteers Prevent more than 17,000 Pounds of Pollution from Entering the Ocean During Annual Coastal Cleanup Day 2011!

On Saturday, September 17th, volunteers in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, as well as in over 100 different countries around the world took part in Annual Coastal Cleanup Day. Locally, 81 cleanups took place from Wadell Creek in the north to the Big Sur coast in the south, covering over 157 miles of beach, river, creek, slough, and lake across Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!!
Read more in our blog post...
See our photo album from the event...

Do you love clean beaches all year long?
Text "SOS" to the # 20222 to DONATE $5 toward clean beaches!

Volunteer for Annual Coastal Cleanup Day on September 17th!

Pre-register for Annual Coastal Cleanup Day 2011! The largest volunteer event on the planet will take place this year on Saturday, September 17th, from 9am - noon, and with over 80 sites in Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties, we're shooting for record-breaking volunteer numbers this year.

Come make history with Save Our Shores! Last year, 6,043 volunteers in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties worked together to prevent nearly 20,000 lbs. of pollution from entering our Sanctuary. Text "SOS" to the # 20222 to DONATE $5 toward Annual Coastal Cleanup Day in Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties!


Victory: Santa Cruz County Unanimously Approves Bag Ban!

Thank you to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and all the supporters of this ordinance for your work on this campaign! After 2 years of hard work, a local ordinance to ban plastic bags from retailers and food vendors was approved.

The ordinance, originally spearheaded by Supervisor Mark Stone and diligently written by a task force that included Save Our Shores, imposes a 10 cent fee on paper bags, bans single-use plastic bags from retailers and food vendors, and encourages use of reusable bags. Public comment and support of the ban was plentiful at the meeting.

Today, the County of Santa Cruz joins the ranks of other counties and cities in the state of California that have passed similar bans on single-use plastic bags such as the County of Los Angeles, the County of Marin, and the Cities of San Jose, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Oakland, Fairfax, Malibu, Long Beach, and more.

“The plastic bag problem is a state-wide issue, but because the state legislature failed to get it done, we had to move forward locally to make this happen,” said Supervisor Mark Stone at the meeting. “I thank the county staff and the task force for getting this done. In addition, SOS has been amazing and a real catalyst in this process.”


Take Action to Ban Polystyrene (Styrofoam) in California!

Show your support for healthy marine animals and habitats by supporting CA Senate Bill 568 today:

If you haven't heard the news, Save Our Shores is celebrating an incredible victory inthe fight to keep plastic pollution out of our oceans after we successfully organized a grassroots campaign to pass a styrofoam ban in the City of Salinas.
Read all about it in this Huffington Post article by Wallace "J" Nichols...



The 2011 Toast to the Coast Beach Party was a huge success!

Thank you to all of those who joined us for the 2011 Toast to the Coast beach party on the sand at Seascape Beach Resort! It was a fantastic event graced with warm weather, delicious food and drink, and wonderful entertainment by the Hula School of Santa Cruz, the Victor Ohana Hawaiian band, and Santa Cruz DJ. Congratulations to Dan Haifley, our 2011 Ocean Hero, Scott Malson, our Volunteer of the Year, and Charlie Hong Kong, our Business of the Year! We were even joined by a pod of dolphins, who were swimming closely offshore for hours on end.

Thank you to all of our Sponsors, supporters, team members, and friends for making the 2011 Toast to the Coast such a huge success.
Check out our photo album of the Toast to the Coast...


Freedom Film Screening Explores Our Dependence on Oil

EarthShare California, an affiliate of Save Our Shores, is working on exploring one of the big environmental questions of our time: how do we, as a nation, kick the foreign/offshore oil habit? Is ethanol or biofuel the answer to our energy woes?

Check out Freedom Film to get involved in the discussion today. Film screenings are taking place now, with the closest event being held on Aug. 18th in Berkeley.


Annual Coastal Cleanup Day is Coming Up on September 17th!

Pre-registration is now open for Annual Coastal Cleanup Day 2011. The largest volunteer event on the planet will take place this year on Saturday, September 17th - and with 50 sites in Santa Cruz County and 33 sites in Monterey County, we're shooting for record-breaking volunteer numbers.

Come make history with Save Our Shores! Last year, 6,043 volunteers in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties worked together to prevent nearly 20,000 lbs. of pollution from entering our Sanctuary.

Want to become an environmental leader in your community? Sign up to be a Site Captain by emailing Want your business to be recognized as a steward for our oceans? Become an Event Sponsor by emailing


Join us for The Toast to the Coast on August 21st

The 2011 Toast to the Coast takes place this year on Sunday, August 21st, from 5-9pm, at Seascape Beach Resort in Aptos. Our annual fundraiser and celebration will feature locally produced beer and wine and a sustainable, sit-down, clambake dinner (to include vegetarian options). Attendees will enjoy sweeping views of the sunset over Monterey Bay and then kick off their shoes to dance the night away in the sand.

Our Toast to the Coast Summer Raffle is bigger than ever this year - don't miss your chance to win a private sail for 48 friends on the Chardonnay II, a 3-day trip from Worldwide Diving Adventures in the Channel Islands, a week's stay in a luxury townhome on Kauia, a year's worth of gift certificates to the Well Within, and a week's stay at a 4-bdrm home with private dock on Lake Tahoe's north shore! Raffle ticket holders DO NOT need to be present to win so grab a bunch and spread the word!

SOS Advocates for Polystyrene Ban in City of Salinas

Save Our Shores has been working to garner support for a much-needed ban onpolystyrene (Styrofoam) take-out containers in the City of Salinas. After being revised, tabled, and considered by the City for over two years now - our efforts are paying off, as the City of Salinas will finally make vote on the ordinance this month.

Save Our Shores, along with other supporters of this critical marine protection, areasking YOU to join us at the Salinas City Council meeting at 4pm TODAY, August 16th, in Salinas City Hall, 200 Lincoln Avenue in Salinas.

In the state of California, 47 cities and counties have already enacted their own bans on polystyrene take-out containers, including the cities of Carmel, Pacific Grove, Seaside, Monterey, Del Rey Oaks, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, the counties of Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Monterey so on.

Taking Back our Beaches this Fourth of July with Pollution Prevention

It started on July 2nd with a group of sea creatures dancing and waving signs while greeting visitors to Santa Cruz on Ocean Street. The group reminded visitors that the beaches around Monterey Bay are a local treasure - and that we must all work together to protect our Sanctuary and marine species. We made the evening news that night (on TWO stations) and the Save Our Shores Pollution Prevention message spread like wildfire. Catch a glimpse in this video...

On July 4th, volunteers hit the beaches to further spread the Pollution Prevention message, handed out over 1,600 trash and recycling bags, and reached 4,850 beach-goers that day! July 4th Pollution Prevention efforts continually prove to be an important tool for stemming the tide of pollution left behind by the thousands of visitors to our area beaches each holiday. Check out this article on July 4th...

Then, on July 5th, 263 volunteers in Santa Cruz and Monterey gathered on our beaches for the Star Spangled Beach Cleanup. Together, we prevented 1,657 pounds of pollution from entering our Sanctuary and harming marine wildlife.
Check out our YouTube video from the cleanup...

You, too, can help protect our Sanctuary by donating to Save Our Shores today!

The Covewater Classic Film Screening - A Benefit for Save Our Shores

Covewater SUP hosted the Covewater Classic Film Screening on Friday, July 15th where we were joined by local ocean adventurers and activists alike at the Rio Theater for a fun night out in Santa Cruz!

The first film, Destination 3 Degrees, addresses the plastic pollution issue in our oceans while chronicling the SUP journey taken by two women in the Hawaiian islands. The second film, Take Tahoe Circumnavigation, will take you on a ride on California's most stunning alpine lake.

A big THANKS to Scott Rubble, owner of Covewater, for choosing Save Our Shores as the donor recipient for his event. This support will help Save Our Shores to further our ocean conservation efforts right here on the Monterey Bay.


Save Our Shores Volunteers Get Patriotic for Clean Beaches

Happening in both Santa Cruz County and Monterey County for the first time this year, Save Our Shores staff, Stewards, and volunteers hit the beaches to spread the positive Clean Beaches message over the busy Fourth of July, beach-going holiday.

On Monday, July 4th, volunteers spread the Bring Your Own message, handed out trash and recycling bags, and let beach visitors know their trash and actions have an impact on marine life.

On Tuesday, July 5th, from 8-10am, volunteers joined forces for the second largest community beach cleanup of the year!

Why? The long, busy, beach-going Fourth of July holiday leaves our beautiful beaches completely trashed and polluted. Volunteers for the 2010 Star Spangled Beach Cleanup removed 3,150 lbs. of pollution from just 6 Santa Cruz County beaches in under 3 hours.

Become a Member of Save Our Shores and make a positive difference for our ocean!

Activists Join Hands Across the Sand to say NO to Offshore Oil Drilling

Hands Across the Sand is a grassroots movement of citizens, business owners, and elected officials uniting on beaches worldwide to support CLEAN ENERGY NOW and to say NO TO OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING. Volunteers met Save Our Shores and Surfrider Santa Cruz at Cowell Beach on Saturday, June 25th at 11:30am to join hands at 12 Noon to unite against offshore oil drilling.

The Santa Cruz community and all those in favor of clean energy, a healthy marine environment, and the end to offshore oil drilling were encouraged to attend this worldwide, annual event. Hands Across The Sand 2010 was the largest international protest against offshore oil drilling in the history of the world, where participants gathered in all 50 states and in 43 countries to support clean energy.

Save Our Shores Celebrates World Oceans Day on Cannery Row to
Kickoff the Summer for Clean Beaches!

On Wednesday, June 8th, from 5-7pm, Save Our Shores staff, volunteers, and local ocean advocates joined together on World Oceans Day to kickoff the upcoming season of spreading ocean awareness, encouraging advocacy, and motivating citizens to take action for the ocean in Monterey County. The event was hosted by Light and Motion, located at 300 Cannery Row, and attended by local ocean lovers and activists who learned how to act locally to make a difference right in their own backyards. Save Our Shores was happy to be welcomed by the Monterey community and look forward to spreading our ocean conservation programs in this region.
View the June-8-Kickoff-party-flyer...


The Save Our Shores team rocks the Human Race on May 7th!

Volunteers raised funds for the ocean by participating in the Human Race Walkathon & Fun Run on Saturday, May 7th! Racers joined the Save Our Shores team, collected pledges for their race, and meet the SOS team at the starting line at 8am near the back end of Natural Bridges State Park off of Delaware Avenue in Santa Cruz.

The Human Race is a time when our community bands together to sustain vital programs through a fun and easy fundraising event. Cleanup beaches, pollution prevention, and the protection and preservation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of those vital programs.


Santa Cruz Earth Day cleanups remove 2,417 lbs. of pollution from Cowell Beach & the San Lorenzo River!

In conjunction with the Santa Cruz Earth Day Festival in San Lorenzo Park,Save Our Shores staff, Sanctuary Stewards, and over 200 community volunteers banded together on Saturday, April 16th, to prevent a total of 2,417 pounds of pollution from entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in honor of Earth Day this year.
Check out our photo album...

Read more about our SC Earth Day cleanups...


The Post-Tsunami Aftermath in Santa Cruz Harbor

The Save Our Shores office was evacuated Friday morning due to the tsunami but was far from any danger, some friends with boats in harbor were not so lucky. The amount of destruction in the harbor is devastating and our hearts go out to those who have lost so much here and in Japan. We are currently handing out oil absorbent pads and cleanup kits for those in need of support with their post-tsunami cleanup efforts. Because the Harbor is closed, we are unable to host a community cleanup at this time, but please stay tuned to SOS as the post-tsunami days unfold. We are calling for the community to pitch in and clean the beaches in the wake of this natural disaster and will supply you a DIY cleanup kit to remove debris resulting from the heavy surges. Read more about the tsunami from SOS...
Find more information on the Santa Cruz Harbor website...


Stay up to date on SOS news on our Blog...


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