Sanctuary Warriors remove more than 50 pounds of garbage from Main Beach Santa Cruz!
On March 17th, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation co-hosted a beach cleanup with the Santa Cruz Warriors basketball organization. Approximately 85 participants, including the entire roster of SeaDub basketball players, joined together to clear more than 50 pounds of trash from Main and Cowell’s Beaches in Santa Cruz in just two hours. Items cleared included hundreds of cigarette butts and plastics bottle caps, as well as food wrappers, masks, fishing line, hair ties, dead birds, a Sterno can, large blanket, single flip flop, acrylic finger nail, and a banana. Santa Cruz Warrior’s player (shooting guard) Elijah Pemberton, said, “I’m so glad to have done this. I’m inspired and want to get involved.”
Foundation board members joined in to help clean: Co-Chairperson and former Santa Cruz City Mayor, Hilary Bryant; Foundation Treasurer, former California State Assemblyman and co-author of the Marine Life Protection Act, Fred Keeley; Foundation Secretary and former Executive Director of O’Neill Sea Odyssey, Dan Haifley; Trustee and former Santa Cruz City Mayor, Martine Watkins; Trustee and former Capitola City Mayor, Yvette Lopez-Brooks and Sanctuary Superintendent Lisa Wooninck.
Keeley and Chapter Director Ginaia Kelly addressed the group of participants to discuss the connection between the trash on our beaches, our marine sanctuary, and the impact on marine life. At one point, Keeley held up a cigarette butt in one hand and a dead sea bird in the other, boldly illustrating the nexus between the two.
Following the cleanup efforts, Foundation partner Dream Inn Santa Cruz Hotel hosted food and beverages for the participants on their outdoor patio in front of the Jack O’Neill Lounge. In keeping with the Saint Patrick’s Day theme, the Dream Inn Hotel provided corn beef sliders, potato-carrot fritters, and bangers, along with beer and wine. Participants lingered for almost two hours, enjoying the fellowship and reveling in becoming “Sanctuary Warriors” to protect and preserve our beautiful Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary!