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Oracle America's Cup Team and Turtle Group Plan Point Reyes Beach Cleanup Wednesday

Officials say Limantour Beach will be cleaned of debris from two unrelated boat accidents, one of which was Oct. 16, when a 72-foot Oracle catamaran capsized and the boat's 131-foot-tall wing sail and mast were broken off.

A nonprofit marine wildlife group and the Oracle Team USA America's Cup defenders are joining forces to clean up plastic and boat debris on a beach at Point Reyes National Seashore on Wednesday.

The project by the Turtle Island Restoration Network and the sailing team is open to the public and will place at Limantour Beach, 10 miles west of the town of Point Reyes, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Turtle Island Program Director Teri Shore said the purpose is to remove plastic trash and debris from two unrelated accidents of a fishing vessel and an Oracle Team USA catamaran.

The 72-foot Oracle catamaran capsized in San Francisco Bay on Oct. 16 and the boat's 131-foot-tall wing sail and mast were broken off.

Oracle spokeswoman Lisa Ramsperger said the hull of the boat was saved but the sail and mast broke off and were swept through the Golden Gate into the ocean by a strong current.

Most pieces of the broken sail and mast have been recovered, but a few bits have washed ashore on Bay Area ocean beaches, including Limantour Beach, Ramsperger said.

The Turtle Island Restoration Network, based in Olema, is dedicated to preserving marine wildlife and the marine environment.

Shore said Limantour Beach was chosen for Wednesday's project because it borders on critical habitat for the endangered leatherback sea turtle.

"It is important to remove the debris and plastic before the winter storms come and wash it all out to sea," Shore said.

--Bay City News Service

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