By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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The volunteers collected about 2,500 pounds of beach debris in just a few hours Saturday, said Jon Schmidt, Washington CoastSavers coordinator.
“It was a rainy morning, but it didn't stop people from driving from Auburn and Anacortes and elsewhere around the state to the coast to help out with this global effort,” Schmidt said.
Volunteers spread out to beaches from Cape Flattery near Neah Bay to Cape Disappointment in the southern end of the state.
“I appreciate all the effort that went into picking up tiny pieces of Styrofoam and plastics off the beaches today,” Schmidt said Saturday.
“We prevented hundreds of pounds of plastics, ropes, floats and foam from being pulled out to sea.”
At least some of the debris may have been from the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
“Some volunteers who cleaned north of Ozette around Cape Alava documented several mortis-and-timber beams, some covered in barnacles illustrating their long-distance travel,” Schmidt said.
Mortis-and-timber is the traditional construction style for Japanese buildings, he said.
Cleanups had been organized by Washington State Parks and the Pacific Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association on the third weekend of April since 1971.
Last weekend was CoastSavers' inaugural fall cleanup.
Founding members of CoastSavers include representatives from Lions Club International, Discover Your Northwest, Grass Roots Garbage Gang, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Olympic National Park and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
More information about coast cleanups and marine debris is available at www.coastsavers.org.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.