“Washington CoastSavers is an alliance of partners and volunteers dedicated to keeping the state’s beaches clean of marine debris through coordinated beach cleanups, education and prevention.”
CoastSaver(s) of the 2017
We want to thank you for your commitment to our mission. Volunteers like you help to ensure a clean and healthy coast for years to come. Washington CoastSavers relies on the collective efforts of hundreds of volunteers, each year we also make special recognition of an individual and a group who have made extraordinary contributions to our cause.
Kelsie Donleycott was selected as the 2017 Washington CoastSaver of the Year for her efforts to clean the beaches around Ozette every April and September. Nancy Messmer nominated Kelsie due to her, “extraordinary commitment to our common goal of a healthy ocean and clean beaches.” Kelsie regularly recruits friends to join her on overnight expeditions to some of the more remote beaches during the cleanup weekends. They pack their camping gear to the beach more than three miles, set up camp, and then start cleaning. They often make multiple trips from the beach to the dumpster over a couple of days, utilizing creative techniques. Messmer elaborates, “Rain or shine, they (Kelsie and her friends) come out hauling bags on pack frames, handcrafted driftwood yokes and/or hung on a driftwood pole between two carriers, along with buoys, rope, nets, and assorted large irregular items.” Kelsie’s photos of dedicated volunteers and remote beaches have been used to promote CoastSavers on their website, posters, a traveling exhibit and social media posts. Thanks for all you do Kelsie!
The Grassroots Garbage Gang was selected as Washington CoastSavers’ Group of the Year for their annual cleanups of the 28-mile-long Long Beach Peninsula. The group’s founder, Shelly Pollock will be coordinating her 50th cleanup for the local group this January 20th. The Grassroots Garbage Gang is an informal alliance of locals, tourists, groups, local businesses and government agencies that pull together to clean the beach three times a year, in January, April and July. According to Magen Michaud, CoastSavers Steering Committee member who nominated the group, “There are volunteers, including groups that have adopted sections of the beach, who show up repeatedly to do their part in the organized cleanups. In addition, there are people who take garbage bags every time they go on the beach – the desire for protect our precious beach has been institutionalized!” Jon Schmidt, Washington CoastSavers Coordinator, lived on the Long Beach Peninsula for eleven years and credits Pollock and the Grassroots Garbage Gang for turning him on to the issue of marine debris and the need for beach cleanups. Schmidt explains, “the local participation for the cleanups around Long Beach are really special, filled with hometown pride.” A big thanks to Shelly and the rest of the gang!
Washington CoastSavers joined volunteers from around the world on September 16th for the International Coastal Cleanup. Over 650 volunteers removed 13,000 pounds of debris from more than fifty beaches on the coast and Strait of Juan de Fuca. We appreciate everyone’s help that day. We especially want to recognize some partners that helped make it happen. The Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA) paid for the dumpster rentals and disposal costs for the south coast locations. This organization is composed of shellfish farmers from up and down the West Coast. Farmers were encouraged to dispose of any derelict gear they may have that otherwise could have ended up washing or blowing into the water.
The Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association (PNW4WDA) hosted another successful Operation Shore Patrol engaging over 300 club members in cleaning the Long Beach Peninsula and the beaches around Westport and Ocean Shores. The PNW4WDA has been cleaning the beaches in September since 1971, making it one of the longest running beach cleanups in the country!
Washington Coast Cleanup A Success
This year’s Washington Coast Cleanup was held on Saturday, April 29th. Over 1,300 volunteers helped to remove more than 20 tons of trash from sixty beaches on the outer coast and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We want to thank our volunteers for taking the time and making the effort to participate in the event. We know how challenging it can be. We couldn’t have done it without you! From the estimated 250 volunteers who cleaned the sandy beaches of the Long Beach Peninsula with the Grassroots Garbage Gang to the 128 volunteers who picked up trash from the parks around Port Townsend and everyone and every beach in-between.
We couldn’t do what we do without the financial support from the North Pacific Coast Marine Resources Committee, Grays Harbor Marine Resources Committee, Pacific County Marine Resources Committee and Alaskan Brewing Company with it’s Coastal CODE program.
WHAT IS MARINE DEBRIS & WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
Marine debris is trash that somehow ends up in the ocean. Recognize this plastic water bottle? It could be the one you threw away several months ago – not at the beach, but at your home! It just blew out of your garbage, landed in a nearby waterway, and floated out to the coast. Now it’s degrading and poisoning our coastal wildlife and releasing its toxins into the food chain.
Or maybe a commercial fishing boat lost some gear in one of our notorious winter storms. Now it’s floating around out there, damaging our coastal fisheries, and pointlessly killing everything that gets caught.