Registration now open for Sept. 20 coastal beach cleanup

For the second year, Washington CoastSavers is taking part in the International Coastal Cleanup, organizing cleanup efforts on dozens of coastal beaches Sept. 20.

Volunteers wanting to take part can work at beaches the Long Beach Peninsula to the Olympic Peninsula.

“This is an opportunity to take part in a global effort to get trash off of our treasured beaches, including many state parks and the Olympic National Park,” Jon Schmidt, Washington CoastSavers coordinator, said in a news release. “Be part of the solution, to the pollution, that is marine debris.”

Levels of trash have reportedly been significant in some coastal areas throughout the spring and summer, Schmidt said.

The fall cleanup is a good time to remove large pieces of foam and plastics that would otherwise break into tiny pieces during the winter storms.

“It’s these small pieces that the birds and marine mammals ingest, which can lead to starvation or malnourishment,” he said.

Schmidt said more beaches along the Strait of Juan de Fuca have been added to the worksite list.

Washington CoastSavers is an alliance of partners and volunteers working to keep marine debris off the state’s beaches. Founding members of CoastSavers include representatives from the Lions Club International, Discover Your Northwest, Grass Roots Garbage Gang, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Olympic National Park, and State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Since 2007, the group’s annual spring cleanup has removed about 350 tons of trash from beaches stretching from near Cape Flattery to Cape Disappointment.

"The annual coastal cleanup is one of the most inspiring events we participate in each year," Don Hoch, State Parks director, said in the release. “It's heartening to see hundreds of caring volunteers get out and make a real difference by cleaning up our ocean beaches for the benefit of wildlife, habitats and the citizens who enjoy visiting our beautiful Pacific coast."