Due to COVID-19 and important safety protocols that will likely be in effect in September, there will be significant changes to Coastal Cleanup Day to protect us while we protect the environment.
Dates: The event will be held every Saturday in September from 9 a.m. - Noon.
September 5th | September 12th | September 19th | September 26th
Cleanup Locations: Volunteers will be encouraged to clean up their own neighborhood, or visit select litter "hot spots" outside of a volunteer's neighborhood identified by captains, and assigned to a limited number of households and/or families to prevent large gatherings. San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center (SGERC) will again be the local sponsor, and the captain will be Neil Panton.
Materials & Data:
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, June 2020.)
Coastal Cleanup Day this year is Saturday, September 21st 2019, 9am-Noon. SGERC will again sponsor the cleanup at San Gregorio State Beach. We expect to remove many pounds of trash and recyclables from the beach, picnic, and parking areas.
After a brief orientation, volunteers collect debris and record the trash picked up. Data collected from these events guide efforts to reduce trash and their impacts on the environment. Picking up the trash... well, you immediately see the difference!
Parking for volunteers is free at San Gregorio State Beach. Plan on joining us! More information at SMChealth.org/CCD or at email@example.com.
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, September 2019.)
Join us for beach cleanup at San Gregorio State Beach Saturday, July 13th from 9-11am. Bring your own bucket and gloves, or we can provide if you prefer. Dressing in layers is recommended, and bring sturdy shoes or rubber boots. Everyone who participates in this event leaves with a big smile on their face. It's great for young and old. Parking is free for all volunteers. Help keep our beach beautiful!!
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, July 2019.)
Saturday, April 27th from 9am-12 will be a cleanup day at San Gregorio State Beach. Join your friends and neighbors, bring your kids, and play a part in keeping our beautiful area beautiful! Parking is free for volunteers, and SGERC (San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center) will sort all the trash and recyclables. Bring re-usable buckets and gloves, dress in layers and bring sunglasses and sunscreen just in case! We'll have extra garbage bags and gloves for anyone who needs them.
This is always a fun event and provides instant gratification. SGERC, in partnership with State Parks, will hold cleanup events each year in May, July and September as part of the Adopt-A-Beach program. We look forward to seeing you there!
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, April 2019.)
San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center (SGERC) has officially adopted San Gregorio State Beach through the Adopt-A-Beach program. SGERC will hold three cleanup events each year and promote awareness of the benefits of a healthy beach and marine environment. SGERC has been site captain for the annual Coastal Cleanup Day for more than a decade, and continued the tradition this year with a hugely successful cleanup of the beach and surrounding area this September.
More than 30 people participated in San Gregorio’s cleanup, which brought in 79 pounds of trash, 14 pounds of recyclables, and 20 tires! One individual deserves extra EXTRA credit for arranging for these tires to be brought up from the beach just north of San Gregorio. In San Mateo County, 4,920 volunteers picked up 27,813 lbs of trash and 4,534 lbs of recyclables. In California, preliminary results show more than 53,000 people volunteered, picking up 698,931 lbs of trash and 35,674 lbs of recyclables!
Most unusual items found in San Mateo County include a marijuana chocolate bar, a Jimmy Buffet book, an Apple laptop, a bag full of knee and leg braces, and 21,000 cigarette butts picked up by the Pacifica Beach Coalition. Most unusual items in the state; in Marin County a volunteer found a painting of a marsh, in a marsh. In Los Angeles County a volunteer found a Coca-Cola can from 1963.
On the one hand, it’s too bad this much litter is left behind, but on the other hand volunteers enjoy the rewards and immediate results of their efforts to keep our beaches and landscape healthy and beautiful. Consider volunteering at one of SGERC’s future beach cleanups. The next will be in April 2019 to celebrate Earth Day, and another will follow the 4thof July weekend. Watch their website for more information on cleanup events.
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, September 2018.)
Join us Saturday, September 15th 9am - 12noon at San Gregorio State Beach to help clean up our local beach. Each year volunteers remove hundreds of pounds of trash and recyclables.
Parking has always been free for cleanup volunteers. Bring sturdy shoes or boots, layered clothing, sunscreen, and the whole family! We encourage plastic buckets, reusable water bottles, and heavy gloves for cleanup, but we'll have plenty of supplies on hand.
There are additional cleanup locations along the coast and inland. Visit smc health (https://www.smchealth.org/general-information/coastal-and-bay-cleanup-day) to find more information about the event and cleanup sites.
San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center (SGERC) is proud to have been site captain for cleanup at the beach since 2003. SGERC has also assisted in cleanup efforts at Pomponio and Tunitas Creeks. The organization adopts a stretch of highway on Hwy 84, keeping that area clear of trash since 2007. SGERC has also been removing invasive plants such as pampas/jubata grass and stinkwort since 2016. To find out more about SGERC, call their office at (650) 726-2499, or visit their website sgerc.org.
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, August 2018.)
Now that the Kick Pampass sheriffs have rounded up most of the Jubata plants in town, a new invasive has arrived to challenge the authorities. Dittricia graveolens (aka Stinkwort) is rapidly moving onto roadsides and pastures all around the Peninsula. Stinkwort is a short, yellow-flowered annual blooming in late Sept.-Oct.
Few plants have been spotted in La Honda or San Gregorio, but the Pampas team has turned its attention to identifying and removing Stinkwort before it gains a toehold in our area. One local horse pasture with a sizeable infestation is being tackled by the owner and our team this month, hopefully before the plants flower. Even now, the horses get sticky foliage on them causing issues with their hair.
A native of southern Europe, Stinkwort grows to about 3 ft. tall with sticky and aromatic foliage. These invasives take advantage of disturbed soils, roadsides, overgrazed pastures, drained wetlands, washouts, service line corridors, etc. Removal is quite easy either by cutting or pulling (in soft soil) or using a rogue hoe or pick axe. If cut or pulled before flowering, the plant can be composted in place and will not return the following year. Once buds have formed, all plants should be bagged since viable seeds will still develop from the pulled plants. The life of the seeds is about 2 years.
Be on the lookout, and either remove plants yourself, or report to the appropriate authorities (in this case, San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center firstname.lastname@example.org or 650 726-2499). As always, feel free to contact us for assistance in removal of Pampas, Jubata or Stinkwort on your property or volunteer to join our team. Our enthusiastic volunteers love seeing native plants have a chance to thrive in the San Gregorio watershed.
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, August 2018.)
Fourth grade students from La Honda Elementary recently took a field trip to study stream and lagoon environments. They visited two very different sites, and observed habitat and performed water quality tests at both locations.
The first site was on La Honda Creek at Playbowl. This is a densely wooded area with meandering creek and good spawning gravels and water quality. The creek had good flow due to ongoing rains, making it a great time to measure turbidity (water clarity), air and water temperature, water depth, conductivity (salinity), and pH.
The students used data sheets to record observations and test results. Observations included weather conditions, flow rate in the creek, woody debris, habitat conditions such as boulders, gravels and fish barriers. No fish were observed, but students were able to see both artificial and natural structures in the stream channel. Natural structures don’t often create barriers to fish passage, but artificial ones can.
Stream monitors from the San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center (SGERC) guided students through the use of basic water sampling equipment. Turbidity, or the cloudiness of the water, was measured by comparing black dots in the bottom of cylindrical tubes of water. One tube holds creek water, the other holds clear water while units of a clay reagent are added until the clarity of the black dots match in both tubes. Meters and probes were used to measure temperature and conductivity. pH was measured with a test kit that adds reagent to the creek water sample, which is then compared to a color wheel to determine pH level.
A short journey to San Gregorio State Beach, and we were able to observe a completely different environment, but one that is crucial to fish survival – the lagoon. Everyone read and discussed the interpretive panel at this location that describes proper lagoon function and the species that depend on it. In addition to learning the role the sandbar plays in the mix of fresh and salt water, we talked about the harm of artificially breaching it, and how that can disrupt an entire fish-rearing season.
Since the weather continued to be cold and rainy, we repaired to the San Gregorio Store to complete our basic water quality tests. We also measured Dissolved Oxygen in the water, a critical parameter for fish survival. After completing measurements and filling out our data sheets, it was time for lunch!
SGERC would like to thank the teachers, parents, students, and principal of La Honda Elementary for their efforts to make this field trip possible. We’d also like to thank Cuesta La Honda Guild and California State Parks for permission to visit these sites, and also George Cattermole and CWC for support and funding. This program was sponsored by SGERC as part of their education programs and continuing efforts to monitor and improve conditions in the San Gregorio Watershed.
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, March 2018.)
Students from Ms. Schoelen’s 5th grade class at Pescadero Elementary took a field trip to the San Gregorio Watershed recently to study stream and lagoon environments. They visited two sites, and had the opportunity to perform water quality tests at two very different locations.
The first site was on La Honda Creek at Playbowl. This is a densely wooded area with meandering creek and good spawning gravels and water quality. Stream flow was low prior to winter rains, making it a good time for students to safely measure air and water temperature, turbidity, conductivity (salinity), and pH.
The fifth graders were provided data sheets on which to record observations as well as results of their testing. Observations include weather conditions, flow rate in the creek, woody debris, habitat conditions such as boulders, gravels and fish barriers. No fish were observed, but students were able to see both artificial and natural structures in the stream channel. Natural structures don’t normally create a barrier to fish passage, but artificial ones can.
Stream monitors from the San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center (SGERC) guided students through the instruction and use of basic sampling equipment. Turbidity, or the cloudiness of the water, can be observed by looking at a Secchi disk in the bottom of a long tube of water. Meters and probes were used to measure temperature and conductivity. pH was measured with a test kit that adds reagent to the water sample, and is then compared to a color wheel to determine pH level.
Before leaving Playbowl there was time for a quick game of tag in the woods.
A short bus trip to San Gregorio State Beach, and we were able to observe a completely different environment, but one that is crucial to fish survival – the lagoon. SGERC recently assisted in the installation of an interpretive panel at this location that describes proper lagoon function and the species that depend on it. This was a good place to begin this visit. In addition to discussing the importance of the sandbar and the complicated environment and interface of fresh to salt water, students were able to repeat their basic water quality sampling. Also at this site more sophisticated monitoring equipment was shown, and a quick demonstration of Dissolved Oxygen measurement, a critical parameter for fish survival.
After sampling and observations were completed, it was lunchtime!
SGERC would like to thank the teachers, parents, students, and principal of Pescadero Elementary for their efforts to make this field trip possible. We’d also like to thank Cuesta La Honda Guild and California State Parks for permission to visit these sites, and also George Cattermole and CWC for transportation funding. This program was sponsored by SGERC as part of their education programs and continuing efforts to monitor and improve conditions in the San Gregorio Watershed.
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, November 2017.)
Thanks to everyone who participated in Coastal Cleanup Day, either at the beach or in their neighborhood. More than 30 volunteers helped at San Gregorio State Beach and picked up 153 gallons of trash and 66 gallons of recyclables! There were also efforts at nearby beaches including Pomponio and Tunitas Creek. Judging from all the smiling faces, everyone really enjoys this effort, which yields immediate results. You not only see the amount of trash you have collected, you see the difference in the area you have left behind.
There are cleanup efforts throughout the year, so you don't have to wait until September to help out. There are monthly cleanups at Tunitas Creek, occasional cleanup days in Cuesta La Honda, and our Adopt-A-Highway program that picks up trash along Hwy. 84. Contact us for more info at email@example.com, or go to our website sgerc.org.
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, September 2017.)
Protecting the San Gregorio Watershed.