Registration is open now for the annual Washington Coast Cleanup set this year for April 21.
Volunteers can sign up to clean specific beaches, and get more information, at www.coastsavers.org.
Registration already is full for Point of Arches on the Pacific Coast, Hoh Reservation, Kalaloch Lodge and Kalaloch Campground, but 14 beaches on the Strait of Juan De Fuca need volunteers as do some 20 Pacific Coast beaches within the North Olympic Peninsula.
Every April, Washington CoastSavers, its partners and volunteers join forces to clean plastics and other debris from the state’s shores, to reduce injury to wildlife and pollution and to remove the unnatural garbage.
The effort aims to help remove tons of trash over 300 miles of Washington’s shoreline.
In recognition of this effort, Gov. Jay Inslee has declared April 21 Washington Coast Cleanup Day.
“We live in a unique area that offers great protections of our coastal resources, yet we still see large amounts of marine debris washing up on our shores,” said Carol Bernthal, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary superintendent.
“We depend on the efforts of dedicated volunteers to help us keep these treasured areas pristine.”
The event will include several barbecues, meals and snack tables provided by such partners as the Surfrider Foundation, Washington State Park Ranger Association, Friends of Olympic National Park, Chito Beach Resort, Lions Clubs and other organizations.
On April 21, participants also will find the River and Ocean Film Festival and other RainFest events in Forks, as well as razor clam digs on the outer coast and the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival.
For those who are more adventurous, many beaches in Olympic National Park also will be cleaned on April 21. The park’s wilderness coast presents unique challenges where everything has to be taken off the beach by foot, event organizers say.
“Unfortunately, our beautiful and remote coast is subject to a nearly continuous flow of marine debris and single-use plastics that are harmful to wildlife and the marine ecosystem,” park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum said.
“Thanks to the help of our partners at CoastSavers and all of the wonderful volunteers each year, the natural beauty of the coast is preserved and our beaches are kept clean.”
Camping in the coastal campgrounds of Olympic National Park — at Kalaloch, Mora and Ozette — will be free for volunteers on the nights of April 20 and 21 during the beach cleanup weekend. Backcountry camping fees also will be waived for volunteers staying overnight on wilderness beaches of Olympic National Park.
At some locations, such as Ozette and Shi Shi, dedicated volunteers hike several miles just to reach the beach. Then they gather the trash and haul it back to the trailhead or road.
Besides using garbage bags to haul out debris, some volunteers tie multiple buoys or floats to their framed backpacks. Other volunteers roll tires out one by one.
Washington CoastSavers is an alliance of partners and volunteers dedicated to clearing trash from the state’s beaches.
The alliance behind the CoastSavers program includes representatives of Clallam County government, Discover Your Northwest, Grass Roots Garbage Gang, Lions Club International, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Olympic National Park, Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, Surfrider Foundation and Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
Since 2007, their efforts have removed tens of tons of trash off the beach during the Washington Coast Cleanup that occurs every April on Earth Day weekend.