Our History

The Washington Clean Coast Alliance
The Alliance formed in 2007 and launched the CoastSavers program to coordinate the efforts of volunteer groups and individuals that had been cleaning up Washington’s Pacific Coast since as far back as 1971.

The Washington Coast Cleanup
Our signature annual event is the Washington Coast Cleanup, which started as a series of separate beach cleanups held every April in celebration of Earth Day. The number of volunteers and the amount of debris collected keep growing. In 2016, over 1,400 volunteers removed more than 20 tons of debris on April 23rd. Awesome!

Three Branches of Our History
Prior to 2007, our history has three branches: the Olympic Coast Cleanup founded by Jan Klippert; the three annual Long Beach cleanups organized by the Grass Roots Garbage Gang; and Operation Shore Patrol organized by the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association.

Jan Klippert
In April 2000, Seattle environmentalist Jan Klippert founded the Olympic Coast Cleanup as an Earth Day activity to clean up our northern coast, especially the hard-to-reach wilderness beaches. With the help of Olympic National Park, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Surfrider Foundation, and several tribal groups, Jan’s efforts have blossomed into the current Washington Coast Cleanup.

Grass Roots Garbage Gang
Also around 2000, a group of civic-minded folks down in Long Beach came together as the Grass Roots Garbage Gang to clean up their community beaches. With the help of Washington State Parks, the Gang holds three cleanups every year, including a January effort to gather winter storm debris and a July 5 effort to clean up the “war zone” fallout of Independence Day fireworks.

Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association
Cleaning our coast since 1971, the Pacific Northwest Four Wheelers have been at it longer than anyone! With help from Washington State Parks, Washington Department of Ecology, and the Ocean Conservancy, their Operation Shore Patrol event has become an annual tradition on Washington’s southern beaches.