Caring for the marine environment through ocean awareness, advocacy, and citizen action.
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Beach & River Cleanups

Visit our Cleanup & Events Calendar to find the next volunteer opportunity

 

Monthly Beach Cleanups

Monthly beach cleanups are a fun, free, easy way to give back to your community by keeping pollution from entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It's easy to participate - just meet us at the check-in table where you'll sign a waiver form and receive your cleanup materials and data cards. Volunteers are encouraged to Bring Your Own buckets, gloves, and reusable bags to decrease trash. Beach cleanups demonstrate how individuals of all ages can protect the marine environment by keeping our coastlines free from harmful pollution and debris.

Locations rotate each month - check our Cleanup & Event Calendar for details. Monthly beach cleanups occur every 2nd Saturday of the month in Monterey County every 3rd Saturday of the month in Santa Cruz County. In coastal San Mateo County, cleanups are held about 4 times a year. All monthly beach cleanups are held from 10am to Noon.

Beach Cleanup Waiver Forms: All participants must sign a waiver form to participate in a SOS cleanup. SOS will provide waiver forms at all public cleanups. Volunteers under 18 participating without a legal guardian will need to bring a printed and signed waiver form with them. *Download the English Cleanup-Waiver-form here. *Download the Cleanup-Waiver-form_Spanish here.


River Cleanups

Save Our Shores has been conducting beach cleanups for 30 years, yet the plastic pollution and marine debris problem only seems to be getting worse. In 2008, SOS decided to take a new approach to tackling this issue by hosting river cleanups, as well. Now as a joint effort with the City of Santa Cruz's Measure E, community river cleanups occur about 4 times a year from 10am to Noon.

Come lend a hand for our watersheds!

It’s easy to participate: All you have to do is show up! Just meet us at the check-in table where you'll sign a waiver form and receive your cleanup materials and data cards. Volunteers are encouraged to Bring Your Own buckets, gloves, and reusable bags to decrease one-time-use trash. During river cleanups, extra supplies are available on a first come, first served basis, including rubber boots, shovels, etc.

Please Note: Inland and river cleanup sites pose unique challenges. Participants need to be more aware of habitat sensitivity, along with the threat of poison oak and hazardous materials associated with homeless/transient populations. Youth under the age of 15 should be accompanied by an adult for all inland sites, contact cleanup(at)saveourshores.org with questions.

 

Plastic Pollution & Marine Debris Knows No Boundaries

It is found all over our beaches, is carried to the ocean through our watersheds, harms and kills marine life and has the ability to accumulate toxins in the ocean before entering the ocean food chain.

California’s Central Coast is no exception to the problem - and our beaches and rivers desperately need your help.

Take action for our oceans! Volunteer with Save Our Shores or Become a Member to help us stop pollution at the source!

 

Cleanup Data

Save Our Shores volunteers collect data during all of our cleanups. This data provides us with key insights into the sources of our local pollution and marine debris problem, and helps us strategize how to best stop pollution in its tracks. From local bans on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene containers to our cigarette butt litter abatement campaign and BaitTanks, the data collected during our cleanup is an integral component of all of our advocacy work.

 

A quick look at some of our cleanup stats:

 
Top 5 items collected at beach & river cleanups, in order are:
  • Cigarette butts
  • Plastic pieces
  • Plastic food wrappers
  • Styrofoam pieces
  • Paper pieces
 
Since the summer of 2007, Save Our Shores has collected:
  • Over 343,700 cigarette butts
  • Over 35,300 plastic bags
 

 

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