Oregon Coast is 54,000 Pounds Lighter Saturday
(Oregon Coast) - Facing the threat of cloudy skies and rainy conditions on much of the coast, more than 3,700 volunteers turned out to participate in the 25th anniversary of the SOLV Great Oregon Fall Beach Cleanup on Saturday. The entire Oregon coast, over 362 miles, was cleaned of debris that had accumulated since last spring. Volunteers removed an estimated 54,460 pounds of trash from Oregon’s beaches.
“Today citizens from across the state demonstrated their commitment to maintaining a clean and healthy environment by turning out to keep the Oregon coastline pristine” said SOLV Program Coordinator, Diana Bartlett. “Oregonians should feel proud of their efforts over the past 25 years to preserve our incredible public beaches for future generations.”
In the north at Fort Stevens State Park, the sun broke through the morning clouds and coordinators saw one of the largest volunteer turnouts ever for this event.
Among the many interesting items found Saturday were a car bumper, a pacifier, a box of baby wipes, an unopened package of hotdogs that expired last year, a small refrigerator, a life vest, and over 125 shoes and flip flops. Volunteers reported finding an unusual number of homeless camps on the beach. At Beverly Beach State Park near Newport, four goats joined volunteers to help keep the coastline clean.
Some of the most common items found on the beach included Styrofoam, plastic caps, lids, bottles and cigarette butts. While these are often small items, if they accumulate they can do big damage to marine wildlife and the environment, particularly the plastic debris that never fully degrade or disappear.
Scientists have discovered that more than five million square miles of the Pacific Ocean is covered with trash, and it is believed that most of is comprised of the remnants of plastic trash from the world's shorelines.
“Data from past cleanups indicate that nearly 80 percent of ocean trash comes from land-based activities, meaning this problem is preventable if we all did more to reduce, properly dispose of, or recycle trash,” said Bartlett.
Along with SOLV, the cleanup is coordinated by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and local coast sanitary companies. Zone Captains from coastal communities and partner organizations such as OPRD and the Surfrider Foundation worked to coordinate volunteer registration and disposal points along the coast. Disposal fees were covered by coastal counties and hauling services were provided free-of-charge for this year’s cleanup from the following companies: Western Oregon Waste, R Sanitary Service, Nestucca Valley Sanitary Service, Thompson’s Sanitary Service, County Transfer & Recycling, Central Coast Disposal, North Lincoln Sanitary Service & Southern Oregon Sanitary.
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