Nehalem Bay Estuary Cleanup

The Nehalem Bay Estuary Cleanup event.

Pull up the boots, don the rain gear and prepare to take out the trash – out of the estuary that is.

The 10th Biennial Nehalem Estuary Cleanup is fast approaching, so everyone is invited to help the cause on March 11, for the opportunity to spend a day making a lasting difference in the bay. According to officials, a debris-free estuary is important for salmon, wildlife, and the health of our communities.

Orientation begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Wheeler Masonic Hall at Handy Creek Bakery, 63 North Highway 101, in downtown Wheeler.  Parking is available on the south side of the building. Following the introduction, groups of volunteers will spread out around the bay to walk the high tide line collecting debris. Trucks and boats will collect the materials, returning it to Wheeler’s Waterfront Park for sorting, recycling and disposal.

Opportunities range from collecting debris, sorting materials, helping with set-up and take down, and food service. Nehalem Bay State Park will have special activities for children that will help them understand why coastal cleanups are so important.

Science educator Peter Walczak will lead a youth crew cleaning up debris along the state park jetty. Youth and family volunteers can join the 7:30 a.m. orientation in Wheeler, or go directly to the boat ramp in Nehalem Bay State Park starting at 8:30 a.m., where there will be an orientation and ongoing educational activities.

Bring drinking water and a snack or sack lunch.  This is a rain or shine event.  Wear waterproof boots, work gloves, and layers as needed.

After the cleanup, starting at 5 p.m., volunteers are invited to the White Clover Grange at 36585 Highway 53, Nehalem, OR 97131 for live music, a chili and cornbread feast, root beer floats, and socializing. A dry change of clothes for the party is encouraged.

New this year is the opportunity to register online in advance of the event. Volunteers can sign-up by going to and searching for “10th Biennial Nehalem Estuary Cleanup” or by visiting This will allow for a smooth orientation in the morning and a quick start to the cleanup.

Back again by popular demand is the Nehalem Estuary Cleanup Photo Contest.

Volunteers and attendees are invited to submit photos from the day of the event to by March 15. The winning photographer will receive a gift certificate to a local business and be featured in print and online press about the event.

In 2015 alone, over 150 volunteers dedicated their time, skills, and energy to make the bay clean and healthy. The group pulled 2.37 tons of trash and 915 lbs. of recyclable and reusable material from the estuary. Recyclable materials were comprised of 110 lbs. of reusable items, 302 lbs. of metal, 240 lbs. of glass, 120 lbs. of plastic,and 34 lbs. of paper.

A few of the more interesting finds included one jar of grape jelly, one mattress, one port-a-potty door, 14 railroad spikes, 21 shoes (including one pair), 26 hazardous items, 65 balls, 105 flip flops, 350 shotgun shells and one genuine message in a bottle. What will be discovered this year?

Community partners Lower Nehalem Community Trust, Lower Nehalem Watershed Council, CARTM, Nehalem Bay State Park, North Coast Land Conservancy, and Tillamook Estuaries Partnership are pleased to announce this event is part of Explore Nature, a series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures.

Hosted throughout Tillamook County by a consortium of Conservation organizations, these meaningful, nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the area’s natural resources and natural resource-based economy.

This effort is partially funded by the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County and Visit Tillamook Coast.

We are grateful for the outpouring of support from so many businesses and individuals. Organizers would like to thank Handy Creek Bakery, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Monica Gianopulos, The Roost, Manzanita Fresh Foods, Mother Nature’s Natural Foods, Manzanita Market Grocery & Deli, Bread and Ocean, Manzanita News & Espresso, Kingfisher Farms, the City of Wheeler, the Wheeler Liquor Store, Bill’s Tavern, Mohler Co-op and many more yet to come.

For those unable to join the day of the event, organizers ask to consider making a donation by visiting or by mail to Lower Nehalem Community Trust, PO Box 496, 532 Laneda Ave., Suite C, Manzanita, OR 97130. Include “Estuary Cleanup” in the message section or on the memo line.

For more information, contact Lower Nehalem Watershed Council Coordinator, Alix Lee at