SOLVE’s annual Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup brought SOLVE Month to a strong close on Saturday. More than 4,800 volunteers removed over 21,000 pounds of litter and marine debris from the coast. Presented by AAA Oregon, the annual SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup took place Saturday, March 23 at 45 cleanup locations from Astoria to Brookings. Kris Carico, CEO of SOLVE shared her appreciation, "Today, thousands of volunteers from across the state came together to clean up our beaches, and that is truly inspiring. We are grateful to each and every one of them."
SOLVE, an Oregon-based nonprofit aimed at keeping our state clean and healthy, has been organizing bi-annual cleanups along the entire Oregon coast since 1986. Since that time over 260,000 SOLVE volunteers have removed an estimated 3.6 million pounds of debris from the coastline. SOLVE’s annual Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup, presented by AAA Oregon, happens to come right as Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared March “SOLVE Month.”
Common items found during the event were tiny bits of plastic, cigarette butts, bottle caps, and food wrappers, which can be harmful to both marine life and shorebirds. Unique items found by volunteers included a kiddie pool from Rockaway Beach, a small dock filled with Styrofoam near Nehalem, multiple life vests and a rusty box spring.
In addition to litter on the beach, some of the debris removed today had washed in from the ocean following winter storms and tides. Items ranged from fishing rope, crab traps, crates, and buoys to glass and plastic bottles.
In order to divert some of the marine debris from the landfill, SOLVE partnered with the Washed Ashore Project in Bandon. Artists will wash the debris and turn it into educational art sculptures.
In Gold Beach, a taco truck arrived unannounced and unplanned providing tacos for the dozens of volunteers there following the cleanup.
Many volunteers brought their own buckets and reusable gloves to the cleanup reducing the number of bags and vinyl gloves that were distributed.
Event Presenting Sponsor, AAA Oregon, joined four of the cleanup sites with dozens of employees. "We are proud to have joined Oregonians from across the state as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of SOLVE and this annual tradition of spring cleaning for our state’s special coastal places," said Tim Morgan, CEO of AAA Oregon, and a native Oregonian. “Taking care of our state is a huge priority for AAA and our employees.”
Oregonians who were not able to make it to the beach Saturday can still make a difference by picking up litter in their neighborhood, local park or along the beaches any time of year. Join a local SOLVE project or create your own. Learn more at solveoregon.org.
The Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup is presented by AAA Oregon. Additional sponsors include: Fred Meyer, The Standard, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, NW Natural, KOIN, K103fm, Martin North, and Local Coast Haulers.