SOLVE Cleanup: Few Oddities, Cleanest Oregon Coast in Years
Published 09/20/2015 at 6:44 PM PDT - Updated 09/21/2015 at 1:14 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – UPDATED: Thousands hit the beaches of Oregon today – as well as various rivers around the state – to help with the SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup. Over 5,000 dedicated volunteers came out, collecting an estimated 55,000 pounds of trash and marine debris were collected from over 110 project sites including beaches, rivers, neighborhoods, parks, and natural areas throughout Oregon and the coast.
The oddities found this year were few and far between, and in fact SOLVE zone captains are reporting far less trash than usual.
This event was also part of the International Coastal Cleanup and National Public Lands Day. Among the other projects in conjunction with the Cleanup: invasive, non-native plants were cleared from nearly three acres of natural area.
The most common items found during the event were tiny bits of plastic, cigarette butts, fishing rope, glass bottles and plastic bottles. Some areas reported also finding some clothing and shoes left behind by visitors.
Interesting items found by volunteers included a large discarded barbecue at Seaside, a remote controlled airplane near Humbug Mountain State Park, and over 500 pounds of construction material in Yachats,
Overall, the unusual stuff was not that unusual nor big in numbers. No refrigerators or other large objects as are often found. In Rockaway Beach, two kitchen chairs were brought up. Seaside had a large number of liquor bottles, and one metal object a few feet long.
In the Newport area, a fair amount of homeless camp stuff was found, such as blankets and tarps.
In the Netarts area, zone captain John Andersen said what all the other beach captains were saying: there was sizably less garbage than usual. Some even said this was the least amount they had hauled off in a long time.
“I think Oregonians are just taking better care of their beaches,” Andersen said.
Andersen said the spring cleanups yield more junk now, with storms apparently bringing in more stuff than visitors to the Oregon coast leave during the summer.
At the Nadaka Nature Park Cleanup in Gresham, neighbors joined together to remove invasive English Ivy and Himalayan blackberry from this beloved natural area. Dozens of students and community volunteers helped remove debris from the Applegate River in Jacksonville and learned about the impacts of littering. At Stub Stewart State Park, volunteers put on their hiking boots and scoured over 20 miles of trail, removing trash and giving back to their community.
The Beach & Riverside Cleanup began in 1984 as "The Plague of Plastics" after Oregonians, Judie Hansen and Eleanor Dye, were inspired to rid the state's beaches of litter. In the first year alone, volunteers removed 26 tons of trash. Three decades later, the event has expanded to include inland litter cleanups and watershed restoration projects across the state and has served as a cleanup model that has spread across the nation and throughout the world.
Today, the success of this event is due in large part to the dedicated coordinators and beach captains that step up to lead projects throughout the state. More Oregon coast below:
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