Join our efforts in 2017
February 4th: Long Beach Peninsula with our partners Grassroots Garbage Gang
April 29th: Washington Coast Cleanup (entire coast and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca)
July 5th: South Coast
September 16th: International Coastal Cleanup (entire coast and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca
2016 was a great year for the beaches of the Washington coast. We rely on the support of hundreds of volunteers to help keep our state’s beaches free of marine debris. Here are the totals from 2016’s cleanups:
Washington Coast Cleanup: 1,400 volunteers removed over 20 tons.
International Coastal Cleanup: at least 300 volunteers removed 6 tons.
Total Volunteers in 2016: 1,700
Total Weight of Debris Collected: 26 tons!
CoastSaver of the Year
It takes hundreds of caring and dedicated volunteers to keep the state’s outer coastal beaches clean and beautiful. Washington CoastSavers has been organizing coast-wide beach cleanups from the Columbia River into the Strait of Juan de Fuca since 2007. It’s always a massive undertaking, utilizing staff from Washington State Parks, the Olympic National Park and other agencies and organizations. This last April, over 1,400 volunteers participated in the Washington Coast Cleanup removing more than twenty tons of debris from dozens of beaches. This wouldn’t have been possible without the participation of people coming from as far away as Seattle to pitch in. It’s unlikely that any of this would happen without the leadership of a few individuals, especially 2016’s Washington CoastSaver of the Year, Liam Antrim.
Antrim, who lives in Sequim, is currently the Resource Protection Specialist at Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. He has been involved with beach cleanups since the first Washington Coast Cleanup in 2000. In early years, Antrim staffed volunteer registration stations at Kalaloch, Three Rivers, Hoh River and Neah Bay, and he organized the first International Coastal Cleanup efforts on the northern Olympic Coast from the Ozette station in 2012. Antrim oversaw coordination meetings that led to the formation of the Washington Clean Coast Alliance and its CoastSavers program in 2007. He has remained in a leadership role with the Alliance, serving on its Steering and Executive Committees. Roy Morris, another founding member of CoastSavers and representative of the Lions Club International nominated Liam and said, “He (Liam) deserves this award more than anyone I can imagine.”
New and Old Partners
This year, we were joined by some new partners and some old ones as well. We were happy to work with Alaskan Brewing Company who supported our efforts through its Coastal Code grant program. We recently found out that they will be granting us an additional $10,000 in the coming year.
Another new partner this year was the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA). This organization is composed of shellfish farmers from up and down the West Coast. In Washington, the PCSGA sponsored the dumpster rental and disposal costs for all the dumpsters on the south coast during the ICC.
The Pacific Northwest 4-Wheel Drive Association (PN4WDA) had been conducting beach cleanups called ‘Operation Shore Patrol’ on the Washington Coast since 1971. This association has three districts that send volunteers in their jeeps and trucks to Long Beach, Westport and Ocean Shores for the third weekend in September which coincides with the International Coastal Cleanup. This year was the first year in many that Washington CoastSavers and the PNW4WDA worked together to register volunteers and collect the data on the debris types and quantities. We look forward to building on this renewed partnership during next year’s ICC.
International Coastal Cleanup: Washington Coast Results
Washington CoastSavers and its many partners and volunteers ensured our state’s coastal beaches are free of plastic pollution going into the fall and winter. Over fifty beaches along the outer coast and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca were cleaned by over 300 volunteers on Saturday, September 17th as part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). This event is a global cleanup effort organized by the Ocean Conservancy each third Saturday of September. Washington CoastSavers serve as local cleanup coordinators in Washington State.
Trash found at ICC events was counted and will be included in an annual index of global marine debris to be released in 2017. Last year, nearly 800,000 volunteers collected over 18 million pounds of trash from shorelines around the world. The data gathered at ICC events provides information that can inform policy solutions and identify target areas where preventative solutions will make the biggest difference. ICC events also raise awareness of the pervasive marine debris issue and bring together people and organizations that care about the health of our waterways.
CoastSavers efforts were supported by the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association who sponsored the dumpster rental and disposal costs for the south and central coastal beaches.
Washington Coast Cleanup Results
The 2016 Washington Coast Cleanup was on April 23rd. Over 1,400 volunteers removed at least 20 tons of marine debris from more than 50 beaches! That’s over 40,000 pounds in one day. Washington CoastSavers relies on the hundreds of volunteers to keep the state’s beaches clean. Many individuals and agency staff work at the registration stations throughout the morning to ensure everything runs smoothly. Other partners provide BBQ’s for our volunteers after they come off the beach. It’s always an awesome feeling when we work together for the health and beauty of our coast.
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.