SOLVE's Oregon Coast Cleanup Calls for Volunteers
Published 02/15/2016 at 4:01 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) - On Saturday, March 26, thousands of Oregonians will mobilize across the state to scour beaches for wayward litter and debris washed in from winter storms. Presented by AAA Oregon, the SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup will take place from 10am to 1pm. SOLVE welcomes families, schools, business groups, and volunteers of all ages to join together in clearing the entire Oregon coast of trash. Register at one of 45 beach cleanup sites at solveoregon.org or by calling 503-844-9571 x332. (Photo above: Newport's Moolack Beach will be part of the SOLVE cleanup in March).
Marine debris comes in many forms, from the single bottle cap littered on the beach to a thousand-pound commercial fishing net. An alarming study published in the journal Science indicates that about 8 million metric tons of plastic are entering the ocean globally each year, the equivalent of 5 bags of trash for every foot of coastline in the world. With this number on the rise, the impacts on the ocean and coastline are high.
"Thousands of pounds of marine debris from both Oregon and across the Pacific basin wash ashore on our beautiful beaches, bays, and spits each year, threatening the health of our wildlife and coastal communities," said Joy Irby, SOLVE Program Coordinator. "While this is a worldwide problem, local citizens have the power to make a difference here on our own shores."
Last year, over 5,100 Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup volunteers removed nearly 68,000 pounds of debris from the coast, contributing to the 3.3 million pounds that have been picked up since the first coast-wide cleanup in 1984. The twice-annual SOLVE beach cleanups have become an Oregon tradition, encouraging individuals and communities to become lifelong stewards and make a difference for Oregon.
"By joining SOLVE in this important effort, and taking steps at home to reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever possible, you are taking an active role in minimizing the threat of plastics and other debris on Oregon's beautiful public beaches," said Maureen Fisher, CEO of SOLVE.
Volunteers at this year's event are encouraged to bring old colanders or kitty litter scoops to sift the tide lines for tiny plastic pieces, harmful to local wildlife. Bags and gloves are provided, but bringing reusable gloves and buckets is encouraged to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
Safety is the top priority, and volunteers are urged to keep an eye out for sneaker waves, stay off logs near the water, steer clear of sea lions, look out for signs and ropes limiting beach access around snowy plover nesting areas, and refrain from touching hazardous items like oil drums.
The Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup is presented by AAA Oregon. Additional sponsors include Major Sponsors - Fred Meyer and The Standard; Coordinating Sponsors - Local Coast Haulers and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department; Media Sponsors - K103fm, and KOIN 6. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour
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