Oregon beaches received a much needed spring cleaning with the support of nearly 5,000 volunteers who removed over 56,000 pounds of litter and marine debris from the Oregon coast. Presented by AAA Oregon, the annual SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup took place Saturday, April 1 at 45 cleanup locations from Astoria to Brookings.
SOLVE, an Oregon-based nonprofit aimed at keeping our state clean and healthy, has been organizing bi-annual cleanups along the entire Oregon coast since 1984. In the last 33 years nearly 260,000 SOLVE volunteers have removed an estimated 3.5 million pounds of debris from the coastline.
“Marine debris is one of the biggest issues facing our oceans and beaches,” said Maureen Fisher, CEO of SOLVE. “Every piece of trash picked up today has a tremendous impact on the health of Oregon’s wildlife and coastal communities.”
For many volunteers and partners, this year’s event took on a special meaning as it was held in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Oregon Beach Bill. This landmark piece of legislation granted the public recreational access to all Oregon beaches, contributing to what makes Oregon such a special place to live and visit.
Due to a strong winter storm season, much of the debris removed today washed in from the ocean and onto Oregon beaches. Items ranged from large fishing rope, dozens of crates and buoys to glass and plastic bottles from other countries.
Other common items found during the event were tiny bits of plastic, cigarette butts, and bottle caps, harmful to both marine life and shorebirds. Unique items found by volunteers included a 25 foot mooring rope in Newport, an old rocking horse, 100 feet of steel cable, and sections from a dock in Manzanita, and 40 toothbrushes in Netarts.
There were also many inspiring stories from across the coast.
- Trash wasn’t the only thing that was found on the beach. A few lucky volunteers found custom glass floats donated by local artisans along the central and south coast.
- Many local coordinators hosted after cleanup events, which included a thank you BBQ for Newport area volunteers, lunch at the Rockaway Lions Club, and a potluck at Sand Lake.
- At the Bastendorff Beach Cleanup in Coos Bay, volunteers removed an estimated 800 pounds of trash, which is significantly less than the amount picked up at the event in the past. Thank you to all the local volunteers who continue to take care of this beloved beach.
Event Presenting Sponsor, AAA Oregon, hosted a volunteer photo contest and joined four of the cleanup sites with over 50 employees.
“Taking care of our beautiful state has always been a priority for AAA and our employees,” said Tim Morgan, CEO of AAA Oregon, and a native Oregonian.
“We are proud to join fellow Oregonians from across the state and continue the annual tradition of cleaning up our beaches for present and future generations alike.”
Oregonians who were not able to make it to the beach Saturday can still make a difference by picking up litter in their neighborhood, local park or along the beaches any time of year. Join a local SOLVE project, or create your own. Learn more at solveoregon.org
The Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup is made possible by Presenting Sponsor AAA Oregon, Major Sponsors – Fred Meyer, Martin Hospitality, NW Natural, and The Standard; Coordinating Sponsors – Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and local coast haulers; Media Sponsors – K103fm, and KOIN 6.
SOLVE is a statewide nonprofit organization that brings people together to improve the environment and build a legacy of stewardship. Since 1969, the organization has grown from a small, grassroots group to a national model for volunteer action. Today, SOLVE mobilizes and trains tens of thousands of volunteers of all ages across Oregon to clean and restore our neighborhoods and natural areas, and to build a legacy of stewardship for our state. Visit solvoregon.org
for more information.