More than 270 volunteers removed more than 1,500 pounds of trash and recyclables from Watsonville's watershed including Watsonville's wetlands at Ramsay Park and Pajaro Valley High School (Watsonville and Struve sloughs), the Pajaro River at River Park, the City Plaza and surrounding streets, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Palm State Beach. There were also large campus cleanups the week prior to the event at Starlight Elementary, thank you to teacher Erin Levi.
Most common item removed: Cigarette butts
Special items to note: a prom dress, a snoopy, a shopping cart, tons of alcohol bottles.
Additionally, 38 of our youth went with staff from the City's Environmental Science Workshop to clean Marina State Beach where they scavenged the shore for small ocean-weathered plastics.
New collaborations: A new site this year, the cigarette butt cleanup at the City Plaza, retrieved more than 350 butts and was led by a strong force of teachers from the Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers (12 teachers!), Mintie White Elementary, the Santa Cruz County Tobacco Education Coalition, and Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance.
Additional partners that made this event possible include Watsonville Wetlands Watch and Wetland Stewards, Watsonville High School (special shout to teacher Satina Ciandro), Pajaro Valley High School (special shout to their Green Team), Cub Scout Pack 515, New School Community Day School and Mr. Love, and Save Our Shores. The City's Coastal Cleanup is a collaboration between Public Works, Neighborhood Services, the Nature Center, and the Environmental Science Workshop.
Next year's Coastal Cleanup will be on Saturday, September 15th.