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Disturbing Newport Beach Find Like 'Breaking Bad' on Oregon Coast

Published 02/08/2020 at 6:50 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Disturbing Newport Beach Find Like 'Breaking Bad' on Oregon Coast

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(Newport, Oregon) – It was like a scene out of Breaking Bad on the central Oregon coast Saturday: an illegal dump on a beach near Newport that was not only disturbingly unsightly but possibly chemically dangerous. Among the bags of semi-burned garbage were loads of meth-making materials. (All photos courtesy Charlie Plybon).

Newport’s Charlie Plybon is the Oregon Policy Manager for the Surfrider Foundation, a group that works to forward environmental stewardship and legislation. A morning stroll on a nearby beach yielded a pile that had a repugnant story to tell. This was not brought in by the day’s raging king tides, although Plybon did find plenty of such material on the beach.

“Went down to my local beach access to photograph the Oregon King Tide but was greeted with loads of debris, some unrecognizable and from a distance but most was clearly from around here - including a mound of dumped trash, 8 feet high, bagged and partially burned and covered with driftwood,” Plybon said.

Plybon said there were about 20 or 30 black trash bags filled with all sorts of garbage, and with the driftwood on top someone had set it all afire. Apparently, he surmised, the tide had put it out.


Plybon gathered a couple of volunteers and called Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), who eventually arrived later in the day to haul the trash away.

In the meantime, however, they made some disturbing discoveries.

“Many of the fixings for methamphetamine were found (bleach bottles, butane, lye, etc.),” Plybon said. “Yeah, I couldn’t stop thinking about Breaking Bad during all this. Cause that meth stuff is toxic.”

Among the photos Plybon posted on Facebook Saturday was of a prescription bottle of antidepressants with the name of the patient still visible (which Oregon Coast Beach Connection won’t publish as this is now a criminal investigation). Also inside the bags were mail items, but Plybon could not tell if it was for the same individual. Plybon and OPRD alerted Oregon State Police to the illegal materials and provided all evidence.

OPRD hauled away the garbage and sent it to the dump, which weighed the mess in at a whopping 1590 pounds.

Plybon also found a fishing buoy, lots of sundry plastic items, and in a particularly nasty bit of irony he found a bottle of dishwashing liquid that touted its ability to help wildlife.

Plybon was incensed by the finds. After all, his work with talking to the Oregon Legislature was a big factor in keeping the Jordan Cove LNG project from going forward on the southern Oregon coast. Now he’s got his eye on this issue.

“Illegal dumping has become one of the worst problems along the coast in rural areas,” he said. “And for our lawmakers, this kind of crap should be enforced. This kind of dumping is considered a misdemeanor and should be a felony. See you in a Salem.”

Plybon said king tides also dumped enormous amounts of microplastics at Otter Rock’s beaches again, saying they looked like last year’s incident.

Newport’s chapter of Surfrider will be holding a cleanup of the area’s beaches on February 15 at 11 a.m. These are held largely because of recent tidal events like this. Volunteers will meet in the parking lot at Agate Beach State Recreation Site next to the Best Western Hotel in Newport. Bags and rubber gloves will be provided, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own. See https://newport.surfrider.org. More photos of the dump below:

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