Members of Boy Scout Troop 1498 of Sequim removed this tangle of rope and net from the beach near Kalaloch Campground during the Washingon Coast Cleanup in 2016. From left are Devin Rynearson, Pascual Starcivich, Zay Jones, Ozzy Krammer,Ben Wright, Douglass Peecher, Alec Shingelton and Mathew Craig. (Peter Craig)

Members of Boy Scout Troop 1498 of Sequim removed this tangle of rope and net from the beach near Kalaloch Campground during the Washingon Coast Cleanup in 2016. From left are Devin Rynearson, Pascual Starcivich, Zay Jones, Ozzy Krammer,Ben Wright, Douglass Peecher, Alec Shingelton and Mathew Craig. (Peter Craig)

Coastal Cleanup Saturday to scrub up beaches

During the past 10 years, the annual Washington Coast Cleanup, scheduled this year for Saturday, has collected a long list of heroes.

Among them is Boy Scout Troop 1498 of Sequim, said Jon Schmidt, CoastSavers coordinator of the annual cleanup.

For the past couple of years, the troop has helped clean the beach on the Hoh Reservation, Schmidt said.

In April 2016, when the Scouts were staying at the campground at Kalaloch, they found a massive tangle of nets and rope near the base of one of the beach access trails.

The day before the beach cleanup, a dozen or so boys with some adult leaders started cutting the rope, Schmidt said. They worked from 4 p.m. to 10:30 that night, using headlamps to see what they were doing.

Moved pieces

“They moved as much of the cut-up pieces as high up on the beach as they could and then called it a night,” Schmidt said.

“Their hope was that volunteers would remove the mess in the morning during the big cleanup.”

The next day, the Scouts worked for four hours at Hoh Beach, removing about a ton of debris, Schmidt said.

But when they were packing up at Kalaloch Beach to go home, they noticed that the rope and nets were still on Kalaloch Beach.

They stayed and hauled loads of it up the stairs to the parking area where it could be transferred to a dumpster.

“Simply put, these boys were driven,” Schmidt said.

“I had the pleasure of working with them on Hoh Beach, and it was such an uplifting experience to see their desire and motivation to clean the beach.”

Those who have not preregistered yet but who are enthusiastic about clearing the detritus of winter storms off Strait of Juan de Fuca and Pacific Coast beaches can still participate, either by registering now at www.coastsavers.org — where beaches are listed and other information is provided — or by just showing up Saturday morning at any of the beaches that still need volunteers.

Start times are 7:30 a.m. for the beaches on the Pacific Coast and 9 a.m. for the Strait of Juan de Fuca beaches.

In Port Townsend, registration for the cleanup runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the Port Townsend Food Co-op, 414 Kearney St., where participants are being asked to meet and collect their supplies before heading out to the beaches.

For more information or to sign up, email volunteer@ptmsc.org or go to www.coastsavers.org.

1,200 registered

As of Thursday, 1,200 volunteers had registered to help clear trash from some 50 beaches and more are always welcome, Schmidt said.

Every April for a decade, Washington CoastSavers, its partners and volunteers have gathered plastics and other trash hurled onto beaches by winter storms and packed it out and into garbage cans.

Usually, the organized cleanup is on the Saturday closest to Earth Day, but high tides that day prompted the delay of the cleanup to a week later.

On Saturday, low tide is forecast to occur at about midmorning on the outer coast and later on the Strait beaches.

It’s not all hard work.

In addition to enjoying the seaside, barbecues are provided by the Surfrider Foundation, the Washington State Park Ranger Association, Friends of Olympic National Park, Chito Beach Resort, Lions Clubs and other organizations.

Barbecue locations

They are:

• Hobuck Beach Resort near Neah Bay: Surfrider Foundation, noon to 3 p.m.

• Chito Beach Resort near Clallam Bay: Lions Club, noon to 3 p.m.

• Ozette Ranger Station: Friends of Olympic National Park, noon to 6 p.m.

• Lost Resort near Ozette: Rob’s Famous Bean Soup, noon to 3 p.m.

• Three Rivers Fire Station (Near Forks): Surfrider Foundation, noon to 3 p.m.

• Kalaloch Campground: Kalaloch Lodge, noon to 3 p.m.

Forks will celebrate the day with the second weekend of RainFest with the fourth annual River & Ocean Film Festival, the Undersea and Umbrella Parade, and other activities.

Camping in the coastal campgrounds of Olympic National Park — Kalaloch, Mora and Ozette — is free for volunteers tonight and Saturday.

Backcountry camping fees also are waived for volunteers who choose to stay the night on one of the park’s wilderness beaches.

Many of the beaches cleaned are within the park, where the wilderness coast presents unique challenges. Everything has to be taken off the beach by foot.

“Some hard-core volunteers hike several miles just to get to the beach, like at Ozette where the trail is a 3-mile-long boardwalk,” Schmidt said.

Once there, they hike several more miles and carry trash out by any means possible. Garbage bags are a standby, but floats have been tied to backpack frames and tires have been rolled out one by one.”

One such “rock star” volunteer is Kelsie Donleycott, Schmidt said.

She and her crew, sometimes her friends and father, regularly clean the remote beaches around Sand Point near Ozette, he said.

Promoting CoastSavers

Her images have been used to promote CoastSavers efforts several times throughout the past few years, on posters and the website, Schmidt added.

Washington CoastSavers is an alliance of partners and volunteers dedicated to keeping the state’s beaches clean of marine debris, begun in 2007.

Founding members include representatives of Clallam County, Discover Your Northwest, the 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.

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