Nonprofit Santa Cruz-based organization Save Our Shores got some assistance from some creatures who emerged from the sea yesterday to help spread the word about the negative effects that trash can have on marine life when left behind on the beach.
The animals — a turtle, a great white shark, and some Monterey Bay sea anemones and jellyfish, along with a Bag Monster of unknown origin — waved signs with slogans such as “Put your trash in the can, not the sand,” and “Honk if you love clean beaches” as cars drove by on aptly-named Ocean Street.
“We kept things positive and suggested that beach goers pack out their trash before heading home," said Emily Glanville, program manager at Save Our Shores. "We thought Ocean Street would be a great place to start as there's quite a captive audience due to all the beach traffic."
The organization says that July 4 beach visitors leave behind "trashed and polluted beaches year after year."
To counteract the problem, Save Our Shores is spearheading an outreach event on July 4 at six Santa Cruz beaches and one beach in Monterey. Volunteers will hand out garbage and recycling bags to visitors with a message about the importance of leaving the beach just as clean — if not cleaner — than they found it.
On July 5, volunteers with the organization will collect trash and recyclables at seven beaches in Santa Cruz and three in Monterey County during an event dubbed the "Morning After Star Spangled Beach Cleanup."
The Star Spangled Beach cleanup is one of Save Our Shores' largest beach cleanups of the year.
For more information, or to sign up to volunteer for either event, click here.