Beverly Rosenow and Francis Brophy of Port Townsend with the Mountaineers deposit trash at the Rialto Beach parking lot during a beach cleanup. (Lonnie Archbald/for Peninsula Daily News)

Beverly Rosenow and Francis Brophy of Port Townsend with the Mountaineers deposit trash at the Rialto Beach parking lot during a beach cleanup. (Lonnie Archbald/for Peninsula Daily News)

Volunteers can scour Peninsula beaches at cleanups Saturday

Some 1,200 volunteers had signed up by Wednesday to help clear trash from about 50 beaches on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Coast during the Washington Coast Cleanup on Saturday.

Some beaches are closed to more volunteers, but several others still need workers, especially those around Clallam Bay and Ozette, said Jon Schmidt, CoastSavers coordinator of the annual cleanup.

“The Ozette beaches are more challenging as it takes a 3-mile hike just to get to the beach,” Schmidt said.

“From recent reports, there is plenty of trash on the beaches around Ozette.”

Every April for the past 10 years, Washington CoastSavers and volunteers have cleaned up trash brought onto beaches by winter storms.

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

To preregister, visit www.coast savers.org, which offers a map of beaches and information about special events.

Volunteers also can just show up Saturday at beaches that still need volunteers.

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.

It’s not all work.

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. By noon, volunteers have worked up appetites.

Barbecues are provided by the Surfrider Foundation, Washington State Park Ranger Association, Friends of Olympic National Park, Chito Beach Resort, Lions Clubs and other organizations.

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.

More than food will be available.

For instance, Forks will celebrate the day for cleanup volunteers and others with the second weekend of RainFest. That will feature the Undersea and Umbrella Parade at noon Saturday, the fourth annual River & Ocean Film Festival at the Rainforest Arts Center at 35 N. Forks Ave. at 7 p.m that day, and other activities.

Camping in the coastal campgrounds of Olympic National Park is free for volunteers this Friday and Saturday. These campgrounds include Kalaloch, Mora and Ozette.

Backcountry camping fees also are waived for volunteers who choose to stay the night on one of the wilderness beaches of Olympic National Park.

Depending upon the beach, the work can be physically challenging.

“Sometimes the challenge is the sheer volume or weight of the garbage that needs to be carried back to the trailhead,” Schmidt said. “Other times it is the crummy weather; sideways wind and rain make walking the beach difficult, much less picking up items from the driftwood and rocks.”

Cleanup can be emotionally challenging, too, Schmidt said.

“After participating in a beach cleanup, it can be difficult to go home and look into the refrigerator or pantry and see all that plastic,” he said.

Participating in a coastal cleanup can “make you look at your life differently, your purchase patterns, your closet and your restaurant choices,” he added.

Last April, more than 1,400 volunteers removed more than 20 tons of trash from these beaches, “making it one of the largest hauls in recent years, if not ever, for a beach cleanup within Washington state,” Schmidt said.

“Although some debris looked like it had traveled for a long time, most of it appeared to be much more locally sourced,” Schmidt said.

“We are often the cause or source of much of the trash we find,” he added. “Not the tsunami, not the Californians or container ships. Us.”

Schmidt said the common estimate is that 70 percent of marine debris originates from onshore activities.

“This should give us some hope,” he said. “It means we are the problem and therefore we can be part of the solution, too.”

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 the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

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