SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Mark your calendars for the 2015 Beach & Riverside Cleanup
For photos from the event, visit the SOLVE Facebook page here
Thank you volunteers, leaders and sponsors!
Over 5,100 dedicated volunteers came out in force on Saturday, September 27th to remove trash and improve Oregon's environment as part of the 30th Anniversary of the SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup, presented by the Oregon Lottery. This event was also part of the International Coastal Cleanup and National Public Lands Day.
In 2014, 80,132 pounds of litter and 117 tires were removed from over 110 project sites including beaches, rivers, neighborhoods, parks, and school grounds around the state. Invasive non-native plants were cleared from 6 acres of natural area and 286 native trees and shrubs were planted. More than 2,000 of the volunteers were youth and students.
Note that these numbers have been updated since September as results have come in from our project leaders. The numbers above are the final totals!
There were many amazing volunteers working to help keep Oregon beautiful. The Wallace Marine Park project in Salem was the largest inland event, bringing out 200 volunteers, including event sponsors, the Oregon Lottery and Wells Fargo. Volunteers removed over 1,000 pounds of debris and helped develop 2 miles of trails. In its first year, the Detroit Lake and Riverside Cleanup was an amazing collaborate effort between many organizations including the North Santiam Watershed Council, the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State Parks. Community volunteers helped keep 2,000 pounds of debris out of the local waterways.
On the coast there were some strange finds, including a box of solar lights found by volunteers at the Netarts Bay Boat Ramp Cleanup. Volunteering since 1984, the Rockaway Beach Lions Club also found bike racks, canopies, shoes and cell phones. Their 125 volunteers received free lunch as a thank you for their unique haul. Down in Bandon, the Washed Ashore Project picked up 1,700 pounds of beach debris from several cleanup sites that will be recycled into educational art sculptures.
The Beach & Riverside Cleanup began in 1984 as "The Plague of Plastics" after Oregonians, Judie Hansen and Eleanor Dye, were inspired to rid the state's beaches of litter. In the first year alone, volunteers removed 21 tons of trash..
"At that time, I didn't know that birds and mammals actually ate plastic and I thought if I didn't know about it, how many other people didn't know about it?" said Judie Hansen in a recent interview. "I had the idea to see how much trash we could pick up in three hours along the Oregon coast."
Judie chose to spend the first coast-wide beach cleanup at an inlet south of Lincoln City. "Looking across the inlet and seeing hundreds of volunteers and a helicopter circling over and filming the cleanup, I found myself bursting with pride."
Three decades later, the event has expanded to include inland litter cleanups and watershed restoration projects across the state and has served as a cleanup model that has spread across the nation and throughout the world.
Today, the success of this event is due in large part to the dedicated coordinators and Beach Captains that step up to lead projects throughout the state. "This event is truly inspiring because it starts with Oregonians noticing a problem in their local neighborhood, park or beach and wanting to make a difference," said Joy Irby, SOLVE Program Coordinator. "If it weren't for citizens like Judie Hansen, Eleanor Dye, and all of our volunteer leaders and sponsors, this event would not be possible."
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SOLVE Marine Debris Infographic
Click on the image to enlarge