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Although the forward section of the ill-fated R/V Chevelle was recently retrieved and salvaged, the after-section remained elusive and therefore continued to release a large quantity of crab pots and related accessories which have been washing up on Yaquina Head Natural area, just north of Newport.
To clean up the mess, Surfrider Foundation beach cleanup coordinator Peter Snell, and partners from Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Bureau of Land Management, coordinated 29 volunteers on Saturday to remove over 1000 lbs of crab gear at Yaquina Head. They cut buoy lines and rope into any manageable lengths or clumps as they could. Then they walked the debris to the base of tall lava outcroppings where workers above used long lines to pull it straight up to the parking lot and into awaiting dumpsters. Some debris was walked up the long stairway that connects the tide pool area to the parking lot – 100 stairs. They continuously counted every-single-one-of-them…
Several distorted remnants of commercial crab pots were removed from the rope pile. With volunteers cutting debris for a full 2 1/2 hours approximately 1/3 of the total amount of rope was removed from Yaquina Head. 2/3 of it remains. Hopes are that they can gather for another cleanup soon to keep the mess from returning to the ocean and causing injury to wildlife.
Watch this website for an announcement for the next clean up party or check the Surfrider Foundation site at Ocean.Surfrider.org.