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Time Again to Clean Oregon Beaches This Weekend
(Oregon Coast) - The annual SOLV Great Oregon Fall Beach Cleanup will take place on September 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oregonians from every corner of the state are invited and encouraged to join SOLV in this nationally recognized cleanup.
Thousands of volunteers are needed to participate at 44 sites up and down the Oregon coast. It is easy to volunteer. Just check in, pick up a litter bag, and head down to the beach to help spruce up the coast for wildlife, visitors and all Oregonians.
SOLV is asking for volunteers to show up along Oregon's beaches to help this weekend.
It's an opportunity that’s always prime for finding
some interesting objects and it can result in some unusual ways to have
fun, according to one regular at the beach clean-ups.
"Marine debris takes a heavy toll on the environment,
wildlife and even the local economy," said Pamela Sery, SOLV's Beach
Cleanup Coordinator. "We hope everyone who enjoys the beach’s
splendor takes their environmental duty seriously and joins us in this
Newport beach expert Guy DiTorrice has been a part of these clean ups even before SOLV held them. While living in Eugene in the 80’s, he was part of clean up efforts in Florence put together by divers from Eugene.
He eventually became SOLV's Lincoln County Liaison after moving to the area in the 90’s. He urged others to join in the scouring.
"The twice-yearly beach clean ups provide a special focused day for folks to come to the coast and help pick-up the flotsam and jetsam from other folks and the sea," DiTorrice said.
"The most interesting thing in the past 25 years is seeing the changes in what you find out there," DiTorrice said. “Years ago it was empty cans of chewing tobacco floating out of the surf, changing to plastic water bottles. That’s probably the largest volume of items found on the beaches I scour.”
Fun finds are plastic toys, DiTorrice said. “From little tractor trucks to sand pails and plastic shovels. Shoes and all varieties - but never in pairs - occasionally dot the beach.”
DiTorrice said there’s less and less fishing line over the last few years. But more “whale burps” or “beach balls” are being found. These occur naturally, and are made of compressed grass and other floating debris – often so compact they are impossible to break and hard as bricks.
“Some locals make fun of visitors by calling these items ‘whale snot,’ “ DiTorrice said. “Which it isn't.”
He’s also noticed quite a bit of trimmed and debarked wooden trees showing up on the beaches in recent years. “It looks like a boat might have dumped a load of future poles offshore,” DiTorrice said. “Many locals have been dragging them off the beach and cutting them up.”
Interesting finds aside, there are some depressing trends.
“At a time when less and less picnic debris is being left on the
beach, there are more and more rolled up disposable diapers,” DiTorrice
said. “Not exactly the best examples to be setting by parents with
He encourages others to not just be vigilant about leaving only footprints when you head to the beaches, but suggests they too take a little extra care as he does.
"Of course, along with taking my rake and bucket to collect rocks and fossils throughout the year, there's always a handful of SOLV bags for picking up when items appear," DiTorrice said. "While the twice-annual beach clean up is great - and hundreds of tons of stuff gets hauled off - it's always nice to be doing that ongoing landscape maintenance of the beach."
Founded in 1969 by Oregon Governor Tom McCall to address litter and vandalism problems, SOLV has expanded to reach every county in the state and to bring together government agencies, businesses and individuals in programs and projects to enhance the livability of Oregon. Because of this expansion SOLV no longer calls itself “Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism” and has adopted the acronym, SOLV, as its official name.
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