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Oregon Coast Beach Cleanup Date Set for March 24

Published 02/12/2018 at 2:45 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Beach Cleanup Date Set for March 24

(Oregon Coast) – The environmental stewardship organization SOLVE has set a date for the next beach cleanup on the Oregon coast. The SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup hits the sands for a day of scouring on March 24. (Photo above: courtesy Seaside Aquarium).

That day, Oregonians will mobilize along the entire coast to remove tens of thousands of pounds of litter and marine debris washed in from winter storms. The group is asking for volunteers: reaching out to individuals, families, schools, business groups, and people of all ages to join together in cleaning Oregon's beaches.

This time around, the event is presented by AAA Oregon.

Every spring and fall, volunteers from all over the state join together and head to the beach for the twice-annual cleanups, which take place up and down all of the 364 miles of shoreline.

It's a home-grown tradition that benefits both people and wildlife, supporting clean seas and healthy communities.

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The SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup starts 10 a.m. on that Saturday and goes until 1 p.m.

How can you get involved? Register at one of 45 beach cleanup sites from Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria to Harris Beach in Brookings. For more information and to see a list of cleanup sites, visit solveoregon.org or call 503-844-9571 x332.

The festival of beach cleanliness began in 1984, and since then over 260,000 volunteers of removed an astounding 3.6 million pounds of debris from the beaches of Oregon. Each winter, storms dump a lot of debris onto the sands of the Oregon coastline, much of which has come from mankind in the first place. Plastics – especially the smaller ones – present dangers to local wildlife, who wind up trying to eat them.

These unwelcome finds come in many forms, from the single bottle cap littered on the beach to a thousand-pound commercial fishing net. A recent study published in the journal Science indicates that about eight million metric tons of plastic are entering the ocean globally each year, the equivalent of five bags of trash for every foot of coastline in the world.

Joy Hawkins, SOLVE Program Manager, said this number is on the rise and the impacts on oceans and coastlines rising even higher.

"Thousands of pounds of marine debris, both from Oregon and across the Pacific basin, wash ashore on our iconic beaches each year, threatening the health of our wildlife and coastal communities," Hawkins said. "While this is a worldwide problem, local citizens have the power to make a difference here on our own shores."

You'll want to come prepared, say organizers. Dress appropriately for the weather – which means a jacket if it rains, but one that's easily tied around you should conditions suddenly warm up. Wear sturdy shoes as well.

All cleanup supplies will be provided. Volunteers who would like to help make the event more sustainable are encouraged to bring their own reusable bucket and work gloves. The most common items found during this event are broken pieces of plastic and cigarette butts, which are harmful to local wildlife. Bring an old colander to sift the tide lines for these tiny pieces. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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