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SOLVE Cleanup Finds on Oregon Coast Include a Whale

Published 09/19/23 at 3:47 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

SOLVE Cleanup Finds on Oregon Coast Include a Whale

(Newport, Oregon) – The big SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup was held this past weekend, with most events on Saturday, September 16, not just on the Oregon coast but around the state as well. SOLVE officials report some 20,000 pounds of trash and debris was picked up off beaches and waterways, along with the streets of Portland, Medford and other regions. (All photos courtesy Newport Surfrider Foundation)

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On the Oregon coast, there's always an oddball discovery in and among the heaps of yuck, but this time there was a whale of a find.

Quite literally: this time around someone found a whale.

In Newport, the Newport chapter of the Surfrider Foundation had a little over 100 people scouring the region, from just to the north at Otter Rock down to the edges of the Yaquina Bay. It was in Otter Rock, right near the Devil's Punchbowl, where someone discovered a whale.

According to Vince Pappalardo, head of the Newport Surfrider arm of the cleanup:

“ There was a washed up whale buried in the sand one volunteer reported and took pictures of at Devils Punch Bowl,” he told Oregon Coast Beach Connection.

It's likely this whale has been in the news before, however. Back in May, there was the extremely high-profile killing event right off the Devil's Punchbowl where a large pod of orcas were seen and videoed attacking a baby whale and its mother. Perhaps more than 100 people watched the hunt take place as it started in Lincoln City and moved its way slowly down the central Oregon coast.

Via the Facebook group Oregon Coast Killer Whale Monitoring Program, dozens along the shoreline were alerted to the dramatic event moving southward, and many got photos and even downright amazing yet heartwrenching video. Dozens Watch and Document Orcas Attack, Kill Baby Whale on Oregon Coast: More Videos

A few days later, the juvenile whale's carcass washed up about here, and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network's Jim Rice checked out the scene and verified it was the baby gray seen getting killed by the orcas.

It was left to the elements in this spot near Devil's Punchbowl, only to be discovered again by the SOLVE beach cleanup.

Many of these cleanup areas often report oddities, such as in the past they've found large sections of car, fridges – and even the proverbial kitchen sink.

Pappalardo said this time his group encountered two sleeping bags and part of a boat bumper, along with the usual run of plastics, rope, pallets and a lot of nails. There was also one tire found. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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