Washington CoastSavers are people actively engaged in saving Washington’s Pacific Coast from the harm of marine debris.
Beach cleanups have been taking place on the southern Washington coast since 1971, with early efforts organized by the Pacific Northwest 4-Wheel Drive Association and Washington State Parks. Efforts were expanded with the Olympic Coast Cleanup in 1999 to remove marine debris from the northern Washington coastal beaches. The founding organizers of the cleanup events, in both the northern and southern reaches of the Washington coast, discovered willing and helpful partners in government land management agencies and staff from these agencies recognized the cleanup events were supportive of their respective missions, and they shared the common desire to encourage public participation in stewardship of our coastal marine environments.
In 2007, the founding organizers and the cooperating agency staff realized a long-term plan and strategy for cleanup efforts was strongly needed. They knew that with more streamlined coordination and communication they could expand current cleanup efforts and improve public outreach. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provided a grant through their marine debris program for beach cleanup organizers and agency reps to develop a strategic plan through which a unified alliance was formed, called the Washington Clean Coast Alliance, and now simply known as WA CoastSavers.
Today, WA CoastSavers is made up of thousands of volunteers, an executive committee, a steering committee, and a program coordinator. The steering committee is comprised of representatives from private organizations, non-profits and government agencies, including individuals from the Lions Club International, Discover Your Northwest, Grass Roots Garbage Gang, Surfrider Foundation, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Clallam County Waste Management, Pacific Shellfish Growers Association, Clallam County Marine Resources Committee, NOAA Marine Debris Program, Olympic National Park, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Foundation currently serves as the fiscal agent for WA CoastSavers.