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Kayak Guides Remove 910lbs of Marine Debris from Santa Cruz Island

santa cruz island trash cleanup

Volunteer Marine Debris Clean Up Day

Santa Barbara Adventure Company joined forces with Island Packers Cruises and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper on Wednesday January 15th to remove marine debris from Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Led by Santa Barbara Adventure kayak guides, volunteers paddled through a challenging shore break to reach the barnacle and urchin covered beaches where they collected trash along the shoreline.

Over 900lbs of marine debris was collected during the day as volunteers paddled back and forth from the beach to the Island Packers boat. Volunteers from Save the Mermaids, NOAA and Channel Islands National Park, as well as local kayak guides, joined the group.

Interesting items were found; lobster traps, buoys, tennis balls, plastic bottles, rope, piping, shoes, balloons, an engine, and other indiscernible things.  Trash collects in eddies in the Channel and washes ashore in concentrated areas on the Island. They are hazardous to marine life; seals and sea lions get caught in traps and rope, and smaller bits of plastic are often mistaken for food.

Michael Cohen, owner of Santa Barbara Adventure Company, reflected on the day’s success.

“The last cleanup we did was at Anacapa Island and we collected about 400lbs of trash, so we are very pleased with the outcome from today. Chinese Harbor on Santa Cruz Island is well exposed to the prevailing North West winds and swells and collects a lot of debris. It is also very difficult to access by foot, so it’s a great way for us to clean up by kayak. The volunteers did a great job today and all were grateful for an opportunity to give back to the National Park that they love so much.”

Cohen also mentioned that another clean-up will be scheduled for later in the year.

We are proud to help protect and bring awareness and tourism to the National Park and strive to be responsible stewards of these beautiful islands that give us all so much joy!

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