Oregon Coast and River Cleanup Snags nearly 5,000 Volunteers
(Oregon Coast) – Saturday saw over 4,700 dedicated volunteers scouring the beaches of the Oregon coast as well as rivers around the state, as part of the 30th Anniversary of the SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup
SOLVE said over 52,200 pounds of trash and debris were collected from over 110 project sites including beaches, rivers, neighborhoods, parks, and school grounds around the state. Invasive non-native plants were cleared from 3 acres of natural area and 51 native trees and shrubs were planted. Of the 4,700 volunteers, nearly 2,000 were youth and students.
There were many amazing volunteers working to help keep Oregon beautiful. The Wallace Marine Park project in Salem was the largest inland event, bringing out 200 volunteers, including event sponsors, the Oregon Lottery and Wells Fargo. Volunteers removed over 1,000 pounds of debris and helped develop 2 miles of trails. In its first year, the Detroit Lake and Riverside Cleanup was an amazing collaborate effort between many organizations including the North Santiam Watershed Council, the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State Parks. Community volunteers helped keep 2,000 pounds of debris out of the local waterways.
On the coast there were some strange finds, including a box of solar lights found by volunteers at the Netarts Bay Boat Ramp Cleanup. Volunteering since 1984, the Rockaway Beach Lions Club also found bike racks, canopies, shoes and cell phones. Their 125 volunteers received free lunch as a thank you for their unique haul.
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 21 tons of trash..
"At that time, I didn't know that birds and mammals actually ate plastic and I thought if I didn't know about it, how many other people didn't know about it?" said Judie Hansen. "I had the idea to see how much trash we could pick up in three hours along the Oregon coast."
Judie chose to spend the first coast-wide beach cleanup at an inlet south of Lincoln City.
"Looking across the inlet and seeing hundreds of volunteers and a helicopter circling over and filming the cleanup, I found myself bursting with pride," said Judie.
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.
There are still ways to help out. Currently, Oregon Scientists Need Help from West Coast Fishermen, Beachcombers to Find Transponders. Instruments from Japan called transponders were released into the Pacific Ocean just after the 2011 tsunami, and researchers from the Oregon coast and in Japan are looking for them.
Also coming up on the coast and around the U.S.: Solar and Lunar Eclipses for North America, Oregon, the Coast. Not one but eclipses will be in the skies in October, visible all over North America - including Oregon, Portland and the Oregon coast.
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