From left, Eugenia Frank, Viola Frank, Ava Vaughan and Ben Tyler search for marine trash in the driftwood at the mouth of Tarboo Bay. (Jude Rubin/Northwest Watershed Institute)

From left, Eugenia Frank, Viola Frank, Ava Vaughan and Ben Tyler search for marine trash in the driftwood at the mouth of Tarboo Bay. (Jude Rubin/Northwest Watershed Institute)

Teens lead cleanup at Tarboo Bay beach

Environmental program graduates pick up tidal litter

QUILCENE — It was hot work on a summer day, but four teens made cleaning litter from a Tarboo Bay beach an exercise in creativity.

“Picking up trash on a hot summer day doesn’t have to be a chore,” said Eugenia Frank, one of the graduates of the Northwest Watershed Institute’s (NWI) Youth Environmental Stewards program (YES!) who was enlisted in the cleanup by fellow alumna Ava Vaughan.

Having worked together before, the team created a contest with prizes for the largest piece of trash, farthest travel, and most imaginative tale of how the trash arrived, said Jude Rubin of NWI.

After the cleanup, they invented stories about ancient Roman breastplates, lottery-winning and trash-carrying eagles, using the most intriguing pieces of litter they found as inspiration.

Vaughan, a high school junior who lives near the Dabob Bay Natural Area, had single-handedly maintained a restoration site near the mouth of the bay for her YES! independent project, Rubin said.

She noticed the area needed a cleanup and brought fellow YES! alumni Eugenia Frank, Viola Frank and Ben Tyler in to clean the beach of trash with her.

The cleanup was with help from NWI and in conjunction with Rock Point Oyster Company.

“I feel a connection because Tarboo Bay is so close to my home, but I was inspired that others wanted to help, too,” Vaughan said.

The four teens, along with Rubin, headed out first thing Tuesday morning, masked and 6 feet apart. Scrambling through dense driftwood they gathered, sorted, and they bagged up beach litter brought in by the tide.

Their goal was to protect natural ecosystem and preserve the Tarboo Natural Area Preserve, Rubin said.

Most of what the team collected was rope, netting and other refuse from shellfish farms, some from as far away as Port Gamble.

The Rock Point Oyster Company hauled away the collected debris after the teens collected it Tuesday.

The team had some key realizations during the cleanup, Rubin said.

“There is more to this beach than meets the eye,” Tyler said.

Eugenia Frank agreed.

“It’s not visibly littered, but as soon as you start looking [under the driftwood], you see just how much trash there is.”

Viola Frank noticed a lot of micro-plastics.

“Sometimes it’s hard to just keep moving,” she said. “You can’t pick up every single piece.”

The group hopes its actions will inspire others to complete similar projects.

“You don’t need special permission to pick up trash on public lands; it is something anyone can do, even during the pandemic,” Rubin said.

Vaughan added: “A project like this is an achievable goal. It started like any other: with only an idea.”

The Dabob Bay Natural Area was established in 1984 to protect rare examples of intact salt marsh and sand spit plant communities within one of the state’s highest-functioning coastal spit and tidal wetland systems, Rubin said, adding that it was expanded to include a Natural Resource Conservation Area (NRCA) in 2016.

The YES! Program continues this summer with other small COVID-19 compliant teen-led outdoor events.

For more information, email Jude Rubin at [email protected]

Eugenia Frank, left, and Ben Tyler sort shellfish gear to return to Rock Point Oyster Company from trash. Northwest Watershed Institute and Rock Point have collaborated on teen clean-ups since 2016. (Jude Rubin/Northwest Watershed Institute)

Eugenia Frank, left, and Ben Tyler sort shellfish gear to return to Rock Point Oyster Company from trash. Northwest Watershed Institute and Rock Point have collaborated on teen clean-ups since 2016. (Jude Rubin/Northwest Watershed Institute)

More in News

EYE ON CLALLAM: Kilmer to attend several government meetings

Government meetings throughout the county

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

Sequim man hurt in Highway 101 wreck

A Sequim man was treated and discharged from Jefferson Healthcare… Continue reading

Program to address filing tax returns

The North Olympic Library System and the AARP Foundation… Continue reading

DOT sets overnight closures of Hood Canal Bridge again

Fifth time in as many weeks; others were canceled

By Dave Logan/For Peninsula Daily News 

First Sgt. Kent Keller of Sequim, left, presents to Linda Featheringill of Port Angeles the Purple Heart her brother was never able to receive in person as well as a United States of America War Office document. Her brother, Army Cpl. Marvin D. Actkinson, was declared missing in action in Korea on Dec. 2, 1950 and presumed dead in 1953. He was 18. His remains were returned in 2018 and will be buried in Colorado City, Texas, on Feb. 12. The Thursday ceremony was hosted by the Michael Trebert Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at the Northwest Veterans Resource Center in Port Angeles. Featheringill was accompanied by her daughter Eilenah Moon. About 70 people attended the ceremony, which honored Actkinson 71 years after his death.
Presenting a Purple Heart

First Sgt. Kent Keller of Sequim, left, presents to Linda Featheringill of… Continue reading

City to take over Port Angeles garbage services

Dispute with private company resolved

COVID-19 cases rise on Peninsula

Health officer expects peak soon

Most Read