For three decades, Save Our Shores (SOS) has cared for marine environments in California through ocean awareness, advocacy and citizen action. Key accomplishments by SOS include helping to establish the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and preventing offshore drilling in California Central Coast waters. Now, SOS works to educate youth on the importance of watersheds and organizes annual cleanup events in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties to help reduce plastic pollution.

Today, we volunteered for SOS’ annual San Lorenzo River cleanup in Santa Cruz. The event corresponds to local Earth Day events. We spent the morning searching for trash along the river’s edge, recording each piece on our cleanup data cards. Collected items ranged from Q-tips to cigarette butts to plastic bottles. As we walked the edge of the San Lorenzo, we were treated with sightings of a variety of birds and calla lilies and California poppies in bloom.

During last year’s event, more than 3,000 pounds of trash were collected. The final tally was much lower today. It looks like ongoing efforts to reduce trash along the San Lorenzo are paying off.


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