WEEKEND: Volunteers hit Peninsula beaches in waves for coastal cleanup
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Erik Kinslow, left, cleans litter from the driftwood on Second Beach at LaPush with Ryan Prothro, both from Chicago, during the Washington CoastSavers' West End beach cleanup in 2013.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

CoastSavers to provide food for beach volunteers
CoastSavers will provide free food for volunteers at a number of locations following Saturday's cleanup, including:
■ Port Angeles: The Landing mall, noon to 3 p.m.
■ Forks: Kalaloch Campground, Kalaloch Lodge, noon to 3 p.m.
■ LaPush: Three Rivers Fire Station, Surfrider Foundation, noon to 3 p.m.
■ Neah Bay: Hobuck Beach, Surfrider Foundation, noon to 3 p.m.
■ Sekiu: Chito Beach, Lions Club, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
■ Westport: Twin Harbors State Park, Surfrider Foundation, noon to 3 p.m.
■ Ocean Park: Klipsan Beach, Peninsula Senior Center, noon to 1:30 p.m.
Peninsula Daily News
Beaches from Port Townsend to the mouth of the Columbia River will be littered Saturday morning with volunteers picking up — well — litter.

Washington CoastSavers' annual Earth Day Washington Coast Cleanup aims to clean up 65 beaches along the Pacific Ocean and, for the first time this year, the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Cleanup coordinator Jon Schmidt of Sequim said Wednesday that 850 volunteers had already signed up for the event, and several beaches had been staked out by volunteers as reserved.

He expected more volunteers to show up Saturday unannounced.

“As long as the weather holds, we should have one of the biggest, if not the biggest, turnout ever,” Schmidt said.

The weather?

“It's not looking good,” Schmidt said.

The National Weather Service is predicting a 90 percent chance of rain Saturday.

“But that's what Earth Day's all about, right?” Schmidt said.

On the plus side, nature has set low tide for 10:23 a.m. Saturday, leaving more beach for volunteers to pick clean.

Into the Strait

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Strait of Juan de Fuca Ecosystem Recovery Network, CoastSavers expanded the cleanup to the Strait of Juan de Fuca coastline, though Schmidt said most of those beaches have been reserved by cleanup crews.

Beaches between Port Williams and Salt Creek have been reserved, as have many of the ocean beaches.

Beaches on the west Strait, like Pillar Point, Clallam Bay, Hoko River, Sekiu River, Chito, Shipwreck Point and Bullman, still need volunteer cleanup crews.

Several beaches are open along the ocean shore, including Hobuck, Sooes, Second Beach at LaPush, Kalaloch and Point Grenville.

Those looking to add a trip onto their cleanup day activities can head to Grays Harbor, where beaches like Copalis and Twin Harbors are still in need of volunteers, or head down to the Columbia River, where beaches like Cape Disappointment, Cranberry and Klipsan are orphaned from reservations.

Check-in sites

Volunteers can pick up bags for the garbage and debris data cards, which CoastSavers uses to track types and places of debris, at check-in points in Port Angeles, Clallam Bay, Hobuck Beach, Lake Ozette, Three Rivers, the Hoh Reservation and Kalaloch Campground.

Barbecue lunches will be provided at several sites following the cleanup.

Howdy Slim will play a special show for cleanup crews at the Port Angeles lunch at The Landing mall, 115 Railroad Ave. in Port Angeles, from noon to 3 p.m.

Film festival

Volunteers in the Forks area will have the chance to take in the River and Ocean Film Festival in the Forks High School auditorium, 261 Spartan Ave., from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The film festival is free and open to the public, and will showcase films examining environmental issues.

More than 1,000 volunteers turned out for last year's cleanup, and more than 11,000 have collected marine trash since 2000.

The annual event has cleared more than 345 tons of washed-up waste from Washington beaches since 2000, including 15 tons from the 2013 cleanup.

CoastSavers also organized a cleanup of Washington beaches last September in conjunction for the first time with International Coastal Cleanup day.

A team of about 100 volunteers removed almost 2 tons of debris.

Watch for tsunami stuff

As in the past couple years, volunteers are being urged to be on the lookout for debris from Japan that may have washed across the ocean as a result of the tsunami brought on in March 2011 by the Tohoku earthquake.

CoastSavers has identified 40 items from the tsunami since then and are asking volunteers to keep a lookout for more, specifically debris that may be carrying invasive species.

Volunteers can locate and reserve beaches unspoken for — and get more information — by registering at www.coastsavers.org.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 17. 2014 7:31PM
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