Santa Cruz County

5,000 needles found in Santa Cruz County in a year and a half

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Take Back Santa Cruz's Needles Solutions Team published a needle count update on Wednesday.  The group recorded 5,062 needles found in Santa Cruz County's public spaces in the past year-and-a-half.

An average of 281 needles were reported per month.

Just as the tourist season is heating up, needles are being found in Santa Cruz's most popular tourist spots, including the Boardwalk, the Boardwalk Beach, Cowell Beach and the Wharf.

Here is the list the NIPS (Needles in Public Spaces) Log for April and May 2014:

Boardwalk Finds: There were four needle finds at the Boardwalk in the month of April and three in the month of May.
A 5-year-old who "found his first needle" on the Boardwalk Beach in April.

One needle was found at the north end of the Boardwalk.

Two needles in April were found at the Rivermouth.

In May a needle was found at the Boardwalk seawall and two others in the Beach Street restrooms.

Wharf Finds: 3 needles were found on the Wharf in April, and one in May.

Cowell Beach Finds: Not only is Cowell Beach the #1 dirtiest beach in California because of the bacteria count in the water, it is also the site of many needle finds.

City Workers found 31 needles there in the month of May alone.

Harvey West Park Finds: In addition to one large find in May  of 50 needles.

City Rangers reported near-daily finds at Harvey West Park for both April and May.

San Lorenzo Park Finds: San Lorenzo Park, especially its restrooms, was a frequent location of needle finds for April and May.

Oceanview Park: Four needles and two bags of heroin were found at this popular children's park which overlooks the Boardwalk.

The Needles Solutions Team advises people who find discarded needles to first dial 911 for proper disposal, then go to and click on the large needle report button at the bottom of the page to have the needle find included in our log, which is sent monthly to the Santa Cruz City Council and Board of Supervisors.

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