Marine & Tsunami Debris Response

Our Beaches Need You!

Following the 2011 Tohoku, Japan earthquake and tsunami, SOLVE has taken a leading role with partners Surfrider Foundation, Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, Oregon Sea Grant and Washed Ashore, in forming a plan for a coordinated marine debris response. Our group, collectively operating as the Oregon Marine Debris Team, is working in an effort to engage volunteers in cooperation with local, state and federal agencies in removal projects. During the winter, when storms and King Tides bring a higher accumulation of marine and tsunami-related debris onto our beaches, a larger effort is needed to remove harmful and potentially dangerous items to ensure the health of our ocean, marine life and coastal economies. 


What to do if you see marine debris 

For general litter and small marine debris (water bottles, Styrofoam, plastic bags, etc.):

  • Bring your own bag, pick up a bag from the local state parks, or order SOLVE bags.
  • Remove by hand and recycle if possible.
  • Leave the closed bag near a trash can or sign at state park access points, bring to a local transfer station, or dispose of the bag at home. If you have a large amount of debris or don't see a trash can, contact SOLVE so we can help coordinate proper disposal. 
  • Organize a SOLVE Project Oregon beach cleanup, anytime, anywhere! We'll provide you with supplies and help recruit volunteers. 
  • Check out our Calendar of Events to join a beach cleanup near you.

For potential Japanese tsunami debris, a high accumulation of debris, derlict vessels, large debris too heavy to remove by hand, or hazardous items (oil drums, gas cans, propane tanks, etc): 

  • DO NOT TOUCH hazardous debris.
  • Report by email to or call 211.
  • Make sure to report the date, location, and take photos.


Snowy Plover Nesting Season 

March 15 through September 15 marks western snowy plover season on the Oregon coast. Please look out for signs restricting beach access, keep all dogs on a leash or leave at home near nesting sites, and plan your cleanups accordingly as not to disturb the sensitive habitat for these protected shorebirds. See a map of restricted areas here.


Debris Drop-off Sites

A network of 16 drop-off sites on the Oregon coast are ready to receive beach debris washing ashore from the tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011. The drop-off sites are free and are located in every county. Visitors and residents can call 211 (or 1-800-SAFENET) to report tsunami debris they see on the beach. The drop-off sites will accept debris in official beach cleanup bags produced by SOLVE. Beach cleanup bags are available at state park campgrounds.


Partnerships with Japan-related Organizations 

SOLVE  is partnering with dozens of Japan-related organizations throughout Oregon and southwest Washington through the coordination of the Japan-America Society of Oregon (JASO). The organizations are providing cultural and language interpretive services at SOLVE Beach Cleanups and for suspected tsunami debris items found year-round.

Read more about the partnership in our joint press release.

Get Educated! 


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