Pebble Beach may look breathtaking on the surface, but as two high-school students found out, it is downright ugly on the ocean floor. Tons of golf balls litter the Monterey Bay below and are decaying, which is devastating the wildlife. Now, the authorities are stepping in to clean up a mess that has plagued the area for the past 97 years.
Pebble Beach is one of the most beautiful places in America, among the most spectacular places to play golf anywhere. But just off the manicured fairways and beneath the waters of the Monterey Bay, golf balls by the handful litter the ocean floor.
“These are the broken down golf balls. As you can see, the plastic chips off and becomes micro plastic and this is what the fish eat,” Carmel High School Student Alex Weber said.
Weber and Jack Johnston discovered hundreds, if not thousands of lost, broken and unraveling golf balls while recreational free diving.
“Last May, Jack and I got together and decided this was a huge environmental problem and we needed to change it,” Weber said.
Errant shots hit into the water by generations of Pebble Beach golfers – forgotten – until now.
“It was surprising, since no one before these two intrepid teenagers had brought that to our attention before,” Mark Stilwell with the Pebble Beach Company said.
The video posted on YouTube got the attention of the company, which owns the golf links and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – charged with protecting the sensitive habitat.
“We’re going to assess just how serious the situation is, and work together with folks to clean it up,” Paul Michel of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary said.
If you ever have been lucky enough to play the course, chances are you are guilty – that’s okay, I am too.