Crews clean up Pajaro River

(Contributed photo)

WATSONVILLE — Save Our Shores’ staff and volunteers removed more than 250 pounds of waste from the Pajaro River on Friday via kayak, canoe and stand-up paddleboard.

The haul included tires, crates, buckets, agricultural plastic (film mulch, drip tape, PVC piping), various illegally dumped household items, and hundreds of small plastic pieces. The crew cleaned for more than five hours, finishing at the river mouth where Greenwaste donated a dumpster for the haul out.

This is SOS’ third water cleanup on the Pajaro River. The annual effort was spurred from countywide and Pajaro-focused illegal dumping task forces, including conversations with local scientist Gary Kittleson and encouragement from City of Watsonville biologist Robert Ketley. They urged Pajaro watershed cleanups to include waste removal along West Beach’s agricultural ditches, the mouth of the Pajaro River, and this project, the Pajaro Paddle Cleanup.

Two volunteers were from Watsonville, recent high school graduates who are also Watsonville Wetlands Watch stewards.

Officials are promoting the city’s Public Drop Off on Harvest Drive, which is now accepting mattresses and box springs (a commonly found illegally dumped item) for free from Watsonville residents. Mattresses and box springs are subject to inspection and must be bug-free.

This effort is a part of the Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress Program, that, under California law, requires an end of life plan for mattresses to support their recycling rather than their disposal in a landfill.

For information, call 768-3133.

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