People literally dug in to clean up Manzanita’s beaches last Saturday – at least from small foreign objects and trash.
In an “Earth Day” celebration, scores of people decided to help clean up Manzanita’s beach.
They also received boxes of water to keep themselves hydrated during the event.
By Brad Mosher
The clean up effort was sponsored and organized by the Ocean Blue Project, a Bend-based non-profit organization.
It was so popular, that what had been planned for two separate sections Saturday was converted into one large event, according to Richard Arterbury, the president of the organization.
“We are taking any of the microplastic that we find on the Oregon coast. Manzanita has a whole lot of micro-fragments that float in from the ocean, plus the floats. We bring it in to help us collect as much as we can. The goal is to take the plastic and give it to a plastic manufacturer,” he explained.
“We had so many people signing up that we went ahead and started at 1 p.m. (Saturday). This event is for Earth Day and it is an annual coastal cleanup event.
“(Gov.) Kate Brown signed a proclamation last year when we had over 400 people. There’s a huge difference between last year’s and this event – we have sun. It is a beautiful day and it is warm. Last year, it dumped rain from the morning until the evening,” he said.
“Our main goal is to make an impact. Every piece of plastic that we remove today is saving at least one fish,”Arterbury said. “Our goal is giving back to the beaches that were given to us by the state of Oregon.
“It is amazing how many people, kids and families are actually joining the beach cleanup and have the best time ever in Manzanita,” he said.
For some of the families, it was a chance to play in the sand for a better purpose.
While one youngster was using his plastic shovel to dig down and fill his plastic bucket, an adult nearby joked that he was digging to China to return all the stuff they sent over.
Others used small kitchen strainers to find and separate the microplastic.
The event was original planned to be a clean up and a scavenger hunt. There were prizes available.
The beach cleanup will be continuing Saturday at Bob Straub State Park south of Pacific City.
At each of the beach cleanup locations, the project is working to create a documentary on cleaning up beach debris and where the items are coming from.