Storm-damaged community energized as Capitola Village hosts beach clean-up

Heavy rain and strong wind at the beginning of 2023 ravaged Capitola Village and more than a month later, residents are still picking up the pieces. 

The early-year storms washed away parts of the wharf and forced waterfront restaurants to shut down. 

Beaches were also left with eroded and debris-filled beaches. 

Beach clean-ups are a regular activity in Capitola, but now they bring an extra sense of community service.

"The community is always wanting to get together," said Gerry Jensen, an organizer for the clean-up. "After the storms, it seems everyone wants to be more involved. They've been contacting our rec center and there is a list of volunteers that are actively involved who want to participate."

More than 100 volunteers gathered at the beach Sunday to do their part. They collected logs of wood and trash and threw them into a dumpster donated by the city.

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"I think it's part of the big recovery effort, for the village," said Mayor Margeaux Keiser. "Piece by piece places are opening. Some are at half capacity, they're still doing work but are able to open. It's promising, but there's still work to be done."

Many restaurants said they are hoping to reopen by Memorial Day.