Cleanup on the coast Sept. 21


Registration is now open to volunteer for the International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 21. Dozens of beaches from Cape Disappointment to Cape Flattery can be selected on the Washington CoastSavers chapter, which is joining the effort for the first time.

“There is a real need to keep debris off of our beaches; plastics are ingested by marine mammals and birds which leaves them malnourished and at risk of starvation,” CoastSavers Coordinator, Jon Schmidt said.

Beach cleanups are sponsored each year close to Earth Day in April since 1971 by State Parks and the Pacific Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association.

CoastSavers is an alliance of agencies that have joined together to ensure regular beach cleanup. They include Lions Club International, Discover Your Northwest, Grass Roots Garbage Gang, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Olympic National Park, and the Washington State Parks and Recreations Commission. The expansion of their efforts is “largely due to support from Ocean Conservancy.” The website also lists Bank of America as a sponsor.

Go to www.coastsavers.org to find out how to register, where to clean, where to camp and trip planning ideas. They also encourage donations because “one Dumpster costs (about) $1,000 to rent and dispose of trash once it’s filled.” It is estimated 10 Dumpsters are needed for each event.

The event is international and crews on state beaches will be clearing debris on the “same” day as crews are cleaning up beaches around the world. Awareness about beach debris was heightened after the March 2011 tsunami off of the coast of Japan, CoastSavers said. Participating in the cleanup “is one way that you can contribute to addressing the global issue of marine debris.”