From the Powder River in Baker City to Harris Beach near the southern Oregon border, over 4,600 dedicated volunteers came out in force on Saturday, September 23 to improve Oregon as part of the annual SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup, presented by the Oregon Lottery.
Over 72,000 Pounds of Litter Removed by Volunteers Across Oregon during the SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup
This year, an estimated 72,000 pounds of trash and marine debris were collected from 140 project sites including rivers, neighborhoods, parks, historic cemeteries, and other natural areas across the state. Beach cleanups took place along all 362 miles of the Oregon Coast, drawing thousands of visitors and locals to celebrate 50 years of public beaches. In addition to removing litter, invasive, non-native plants were cleared from 2.5 acres of natural area.
The most common items found during the event were tiny bits of plastic, cigarette butts, fishing rope, glass bottles and plastic bottles. Interesting items found by volunteers included a door and $20 at the Salmon Headwaters Cleanup at Timberline, 20 large Styrofoam blocks in the Multmomah Channel, a car exhaust pipe on the beach in Gearhart, and two bikes along Bear Creek Greenway in Medford.
There were many amazing volunteers working to help keep Oregon clean and healthy. The Wallace Marine Park project in Salem was the largest inland event, bringing out over 100 volunteers, including the event’s Presenting Sponsor, the Oregon Lottery, and Major Sponsor, Wells Fargo. Volunteers removed nearly 1,000 pounds of debris throughout the park.
“The Beach & Riverside Cleanup is just one of many SOLVE events that gives all of us a way to show just how much Oregon means to us,” said Oregon Lottery Director Barry Pack. “With SOLVE events all across Oregon, I encourage everyone to find a location near them, grab your family and friends, and take part in this great event that is just one of many ways we all help make Oregon such a special place to live.”
The Multnomah Channel Cleanup in Portland brought out 34 volunteers, including a boy scout troop. With two barges, canoes, kayaks, and other boats, volunteers removed 39 bags of trash, several large blocks of Styrofoam, a refrigerator, and a toilet.
On the south coast, nearly 100 dedicated beach cleanup volunteers and local community partners removed an estimated 5,000 pounds of debris from Bastendorff Beach. Among the heaviest items were giant truck tires.
Today, the success of this event is due in large part to the dedicated coordinators and beach captains that step up to lead projects throughout the state.
“This event is truly inspiring because it starts with Oregonians noticing a problem in their local neighborhood, park or beach and wanting to make a difference,” said Maureen Fisher, CEO of SOLVE. “If it weren’t for local citizens and all of our volunteer leaders and sponsors, this event would not be possible.”
The Beach & Riverside Cleanup is made possible by: Presenting Sponsor the Oregon Lottery; Legacy Sponsor – Metro; Major Sponsors – Fred Meyer, Wells Fargo, Clean Water Services, Chevron, Pacific Power, and NW Natural; Coordinating Sponsors – Local Coast Haulers and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department; Media Sponsors – K103fm, and KOIN 6; Supporting Sponsors – Skanska, BottleDrop, YMCA of Columbia-Willamette; Community Sponsor – Rockwell Collins.
SOLVE is a statewide nonprofit organization that brings people together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship. Over four decades, the organization has grown from a small, grassroots group to a national model for volunteer environmental action. Today, SOLVE mobilizes and trains tens of thousands of volunteers across Oregon to clean up beaches and rivers, and restore our natural areas and neighborhoods. Visit solveoregon.org for more information.