Coastsaver(S) Of The Year 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.

Congratulations to Kelsie Donleycott, our CoastSaver of the Year and the Grassroots Garbage Gang for being recognized as CoastSaver’s Group of the Year.

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 previous 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!