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The turn-out was rather good, despite intermittent rain, for the quarterly beach de-littering operations put on by Sustaining Oregon’s Legacy by Volunteering, or SOLV. A local contingent of SOLV volunteers showed up promptly at 10am at various beaches in Lincoln County. This one was at Agate Beach which came with it’s fair share of trash, and a dead sea lion (bottom picture) which SOLV reminds everyone is a health hazard to humans and to their pets. SOLV cautions everyone to stay clear of the dead sea lions and seals because many have died from a very infectious disease called “Lepto” for short. It’s a common ailment that spreads within colonies of Sea Lions. Lepto is a major problem between sea lions down at Sea Lion Caves south of Yachats.
Anyway, back to the clean up, as you can see a lot of folks showed up, including some who brought their own pack llamas to carry some of the removed trash. Volunteer beach cleaner-uppers worked from 10am through 1pm under cloudy, rainy and even sometimes sunny skies.
Here’s more on the SOLV beach clean up programs that are run year round along the Oregon Coast as well as along rivers, around lakes and paths across Oregon.
The first all-volunteer beach cleanup in the nation was held here in Oregon in 1984. Twenty-seven years later, thousands of volunteers continue to come together twice a year each spring and fall to take care of our beaches. The beautiful Oregon coastline accumulates trash washed ashore after winter storms, and volunteers will brave the spring weather on Saturday, March 26th to pick up litter and protect the health of our watersheds and oceans.
Marine debris damages ocean ecosystems, wildlife, and coastal economies. Trash travels with the wind and rain, which carries litter downhill into our streams and rivers and out to sea. Ocean currents circulate litter from the land and trash dumped by vessels around the Pacific Ocean and to our beaches. Some kinds of trash such as plastics may never fully “go away,” but rather break down into smaller and smaller pieces. Small pieces of plastic have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, and other wildlife, and can be fatal if they obstruct the gut. Marine debris is a global problem that generations of Oregonians have been combating locally by reducing, reusing, and recycling waste at home, and participating in statewide cleanups.