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Beach Trash Down July 5 Compared to 2011

Save Our Shores volunteers collected 1,500 pounds of trash.

More than 1,500 pounds of trash and recyclable materials were collected from Monterey and Santa Cruz beaches Thursday morning as part of a post-Fourth of July beach cleanup effort, a volunteer program coordinator said.

Thursday's "Star-Spangled Beach Clean Up" organized by Save Our Shores at 11 beaches including Cowell and Moran Lake beaches, as well as Rio del Mar, Seacliff, Seabright and Twin Lakes state beaches, brought together 238 volunteers who collected 1,202 pounds of trash and 385 pounds of recycling, SOS program coordinator Andrew Hoeksema said.

The cleanup was held between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. following a Fourth of July education day at various beaches, where volunteers handed out trash bags and information about keep the shores clean during and after the holiday.

Santa Cruz and Monterey counties allow use of "safe and sane fireworks," which Hoeksema said leave behind small bits of cardboard and plastic.

This year's cleanup crew discovered less trash on the morning of July 5 compared to past years, which the group considers a success, Hoeksema said.

—Reporting by Bay City News

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