APTOS, Calif. (KRON) — Hundreds headed to Seacliff State Beach in Aptos Saturday to clean up debris left on the shore after last month’s devastating storms. The weather caused millions of dollars in damages to the community.
The popular pier there is on its last legs. The pier here at seacliff state beach was all but destroyed during last month’s storms.
What’s left no longer reaches the SS Palo Alto. Large waves tore it down piece by piece. What is left of it will be removed by the end of the month.
“We’re very sad to see it go,” Save Our Shores Sanctuary Steward Tonia Maclean. “There’s so many memories there, and you know, every week we would come down and see people and it’s become a real community on that pier. So, we’re going to miss it.”
Word of the pier’s impending demolition and need to clean up the beach drew a large response. Families were encouraged to bring their own buckets, gloves and trash grabbers to remove anything in the sand harmful to the environment.
“We’ve been seeing so much trash for the last month, and so it’s wonderful to see all the people come out and help clean up the micro plastics, the big pieces of cans,” said neighbor Amy Berliner.
Last month, President Joe Biden and Gov. Gavin Newsom visited the area and the city of Capitola in Santa Cruz County.
Both were pledging funds for the recovery effort.
Locally, the non-profit Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks has raised more than $46,000 to clean-up and restore the beach.
On Saturday, families share memories of the pier by writing messages that will be posted on driftwood and eventually displayed at the beach visitor center.
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“The fact that pier is going to be going is sad, but it feels really festive here today,” said Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks Executive Director Bonny Hawley. “People have come out by the hundreds to help with the beach clean-up and to say their farewell to the pier, to share their memories, take photos to share with their kids and it’s a really great day.”
The picnic area, bathrooms and seawall were also badly damaged during the storms.
It will be weeks if not months before things get back to normal here, but the community is determined to make that happen.