Watsonville asking for volunteers for Coastal Cleanup Day this weekend

WATSONVILLE, Calif. - The City of Watsonville is gearing up to host cleanup locations for the 33rd annual Coastal Cleanup Day.

Volunteers will remove litter at four sites within City limits including Watsonville Slough at the Watsonville Nature Center in Ramsay Park, West Struve Slough at Pajaro Valley High School, the Pajaro River at River Park, and, new this year, a special cigarette butt cleanup effort at the Watsonville City Plaza at Union Street.

Officials say Coastal Cleanup Day, hailed as the largest environmental volunteer event on the planet, comes at crucial timing in California, the month before our first flush rainfalls. After last year's banner precipitation levels, swollen creeks and rivers weren't only full of water, but also several years’ worth of trash. Debris flushed off parking lots and streets, down storm drains and into our wetlands and rivers, ultimately out to sea. With higher than average rainfall predicted again this winter, it is imperative to clean up litter this September. While Watsonville has always embraced a holistic and whole-watershed approach to the event, this year's neighborhood cleanup focus takes that mentality to the streets.

This year, there will be a major focus on cleaning up cigarette butts.

"We're really hoping that people start making these connections more often," said Gina Cole of Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance. "The way we treat our bodies is reflected in the way we treat our planet, and our young leaders want to live in a Watsonville community that opposes tobacco addiction as well as cigarette butt pollution. Human health and environmental quality are inseparable, and should be treated as such."

The event will be Saturday, September 16th from 9-noon.

 Pajaro River at River Park 100 E. Front St.
 Watsonville Slough, meet at the City’s Nature Center in the back parking lot of Ramsay Park
30 Harkins Slough Rd.
 West Struve Slough, Meet at the entrance of Pajaro Valley High School
500 Harkins Slough Rd.
 Watsonville Plaza, 358 Main St. Meet at Union Street side of park, under tree.
 Sunset State Beach 201 Sunset Beach Rd. - hosted by Save Our Shores
 Palm Beach 2660 Beach Rd. - hosted by Save Our Shores

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