| Coastal Cleanup set for September 20th
Every year on the third Saturday of September, thousands of Californians participate
in California Annual Coastal Cleanup Day to collect litter from our coastlines
and watersheds before the winter rains wash the trash and debris into the waterways
and the sea. In addition to being an eyesore, the trash and debris collected during
California Coastal Cleanup Day cause real danger to both aquatic animals and people.
According to the UK-based research group, Sea Life Surveys, scientists estimate
that more than one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die
each year from ingestion and entanglement in marine debris.
And if that plastic bag left on the beach doesn’t end up in a sea bird’s
belly, have you ever wondered what is the fate of all the plastic trash floating
around out there on the great wide Pacific? Marine biologist Michael Moore and
the Algalita Marine Research Foundation have discovered a shocking answer. Any
piece of plastic that enters and escapes our Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary,
(or any other location on the North Pacific for that matter) is destined to end
up in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a 10 million-square mile
mass of oceanic desert the size of the African continent where research has documented
an average of 6 lbs. of plastic polymers for every pound of phytoplankton, the
base of the marine food chain.
The good news: Last year in California alone, nearly 50,000 volunteers picked
up over 860,000 pounds of trash and debris on California Coastal Cleanup Day!
Santa Cruz and Monterey County residents can unite on Coastal Cleanup Day to make
our rivers and beaches safe and beautiful places for all creatures who share the
Sanctuary to live and play. Mark your calendars for this year’s Cleanup,
Saturday, September 20th, from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
Santa Cruz County: contact Sherry Bryan
or call 426-5925 ext.23, or visit this
Monterey County: contact Jean Scott
or call 647-4238.