Volunteers needed to clean debris from beaches on Saturday

Volunteers have a wide variety of beaches to choose to clean up during the annual Washington Coast Cleanup on Saturday.

Only Freshwater Bay, Shi Shi Beach, Seabrook and Dungeness Spit are full, said coordinator James Roubal, adding that volunteers are particularly needed on the coastal beaches.

On the North Olympic Peninsula, 14 beaches on the Strait of Juan De Fuca need volunteers as do about 16 Pacific Coast beaches.

Volunteers can sign up to clean specific beaches — more than 50 beaches will be cleaned along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and 157 miles of the outer coast of Washington from Cape Flattery to Cape Disappointment — and get more information, at www.coastsavers.org.

At most of the rest of the beaches, the cleanup will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More details, including the specific time, are available at www.coastsavers.org.

Roubal said he will send the list of registered volunteers to site coordinators by Friday.

But volunteers are welcome at any time. It’s fine to just show up at a beach and offer a hand.

A special focus will be on plastics. Recycling stations will be at Kalaloch and Hobuck beaches. Cleaned plastic will be sent to Million Waves, as it has been in the past. The Anacortes nonprofit uses the plastic to create 3D-printed prosthetic limbs for children who need them.

Beaches are cleaned each year after winter storms drive marine debris from out in the ocean onto the beach.

During the 2018 Washington Coastal Cleanup, more than 1,295 volunteers participated all along 300 miles of Washington’s coast, collecting about 18.8 tons — that’s 37,541 pounds — of garbage.

Volunteers are asked to complete debris data cards that document the types and amount of debris collected during the cleanups. The data cards are shared with the West Coast Marine Debris Database, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program and the Ocean Conservancy.

The event will include several barbecues, meals and snack tables provided by the Surfrider Foundation, Washington State Park Ranger Association, Friends of Olympic National Park, Chito Beach Resort, Lions Clubs and other organizations.

Barbecues are planned at Kalaloch, Three Rivers, Hobuck, Clallam Bay and Griffiths-Priday State Park, Roubal said.

On Saturday, 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.

Camping in the coastal campgrounds of Olympic National Park — at Kalaloch, Mora, Hobuck and Ozette — will be free for volunteers on the nights of Friday and Saturday during the beach cleanup weekend. Backcountry camping fees also will be waived for volunteers staying overnight on wilderness beaches of Olympic National Park.

Port Townsend

Port Townsend will have its own version of the coastal cleanup.

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center will stage a citizen science BioBlitz and serve as a launching point for the annual beach cleanup on Saturday.

People are invited to participate in both the annual Washington CoastSavers Beach Cleanup and the BioBlitz by cleaning debris from area beaches and reporting on all the species they can see at Fort Worden.

Those who volunteer to pick up trash and debris along beaches in the Port Townsend area will check in at 9:30 a.m. at the marine science center museum portico in Fort Worden. Then they will head out to clean area beaches at Fort Worden State Park, Fort Flagler State Park, Fort Townsend State Park, Chetzemoka Park and North Beach.

The debris receiving station will close at 1:30 p.m. Olympic Disposal will provide free trash and recycling services for the event.

The Port Townsend Food Coop is providing $5 gift cards to be used the same day for all registered Beach Cleanup volunteers.

Port Townsend volunteers can register at tinyurl.com/PDN-PTbeachcleanup.

Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, citizen science fans will check in at the museum classroom to undertake a BioBlitz — documenting as many living species as possible within a 24-hour period around the marine science center and Fort Worden State Park.

To participate, volunteers must download the free iNaturalist app onto their smartphone and create an account. A guide to getting started with iNaturalist is available at www.i naturalist.org/pages/getting+started.

The marine science center will show a live online feed in the museum to track the number of species identified.

More details about the BioBlitz are at tinyurl.com/PDN-BioBlitz.

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, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Clallam County Marine Resources Committee.

For more information, contact James Roubal, Washington CoastSavers program coordinator, at 440-539-4212 or [email protected] or see www.coastsavers.org.

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