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Volunteers and fishermen clear marine debris from Santa Cruz Island Monday

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Volunteers across local organizations and businesses helped clean nearly 5,800 pounds of waste from the Chinese Harbor on Santa Cruz Island on Monday.

Below is a press release on the event to help the local waters:

Santa Barbara, CA - On Monday, May 13, 2024, twenty-nine volunteers, fishermen, and representatives from local organizations and businesses cleared approximately 5,763 pounds of trash and debris from Chinese Harbor on Santa Cruz Island.

This is the fourth year of collaborative cleanups at the Channel Islands for Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Santa Barbara Adventure Company, Island Packers, and the Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara. This year, Tidy Seas supported the effort as well. “It’s estimated that five to fourteen metric tons of debris flow into the ocean from coastal areas around the world each year,” said Channelkeeper Program Associate Veronica Moran. “We are proud to work together with our partners to clean up these special places in the Santa Barbara Channel.”

Trash from the mainland and lost fishing gear are carried out into the Santa Barbara Channel and beyond by ocean currents and waves. Some of this debris washes up on the remote shores of the Channel Islands, while other persists in the Pacific Ocean.

The large amount of debris that had accumulated in Chinese Harbor—including tires, irrigation pipes, fishing gear, plastic, and metal—was shocking to volunteers, especially considering that this group cleaned the same beach last fall.

During the cleanup, volunteers spread out along a two-mile stretch of beach to collect debris. They ferried the debris from shore using kayaks and skiffs and loaded it onto boats waiting offshore.

This Channel Islands debris removal program is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program with funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law as part of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s larger effort to remove marine debris from five different marine sanctuaries across California, Washington, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Michaela Miller, Sr. Conservation Manager for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, said, "We are thrilled to kick off this three-year multi-sanctuary debris removal project with this cleanup in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The debris plaguing these remote island beaches and sensitive marine habitats threatens the biodiversity that makes these waters a national treasure. We are proud to work with our partners to support a healthy ocean and coastal environment."

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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