Partnership for a Beautiful Santa Cruz
The San Lorenzo River drains the largest watershed in our County and flows right through the heart of downtown Santa Cruz. The site of an ongoing restoration project since 1985, the river needs constant care and love to keep trash, cigarette butts and other pollutants out of our water supply and the Monterey Bay. That’s why the City launched “Adopt-A-Levee,” a new volunteer-based program with the help of Save Our Shores (SOS). Through the program, five community groups have adopted designated areas along the levee, committing themselves to three cleanups annually.
“The Adopt-A-Levee program has quadrupled the amount of river cleanups that SOS conducts on the San Lorenzo River,” says SOS Program Manager Emily Glanville. “Thanks to hardworking volunteers from local groups and businesses, such as Albert’s Organics, Sunrise Rotary and the Homeless Services Center, thousands of pounds of debris are prevented from washing into the Monterey Bay.”
The City provides trash bags and other collection materials to the groups and transports the collected debris to the landfill, all of which are funded through Measure E revenues. Between 2010 and 2011, Save Our Shores combined cleanup efforts have accounted for the removal of 7,000 pounds of garbage and recycling materials from designated areas along the San Lorenzo’s riverfront!
In addition to the positive environmental outcomes, Adopt-A-Levee encourages community involvement and stewardship. According to Homeless Services Director Monica Martinez, “the program has been a terrific opportunity for Homeless Services Center participants, volunteers and staff to give back to the Santa Cruz community. Those who volunteer to cleanup the levee develop a renewed sense of pride and responsibility for their surroundings, and the project helps build self-esteem and fosters teamwork.”
If you or your group would like to participate in the Adopt-A-Levee program and/or monthly cleanups, visit SOS’s website or give them a call at (831) 462-5660.