Monday, March 5, 2012

Oregon coast clean-up an "excuse" to hit the beach

Late winter on the Pacific Northwest coast is a great experience. While the weather may be unpredictable, there's beauty in just about any sky, precipitous or otherwise. Walking a beach with a thundering ocean can put a real perspective on life. If you need an excuse to go, here's one: The annual Oregon Coast Spring Beach Cleanup.

This year the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport is the host outfit, but there'll be beach cleaning at 44 different sites along the entire coast. The big day is March 31, and the official cleanup runs from 10:00 in the morning to 1:00 in the afternoon. Captains at each location will hand out bags, gloves, and information on safe cleanup efforts.

The cleanup effort has been a regular even since the 1980s, and over the years organizers have developed plenty of tips to help make the job more effective, safe, and fun.

Bring a bucket or reusable bag to reduce the amount of plastic trash bags used

Bring an old colander to sift the tide lines for harmful, bite-sized bits of plastic

Bring a pair of gardening gloves to reduce use of plastic gloves

Bring a reusable water bottle and/or coffee mug

Carpool and use public transportation where possible

Plan ahead and pack a “trash-free” lunch

Avoid Western Snowy Plover habitat. Stay outside of roped areas, and keep pets leashed.

Steer clear of sea lions for your safety and your pets. Increasing numbers are reported to be infected with a harmful bacteria. To report stranded marine mammals call 1.800.452.7888.

Get more information on the program, see a map of the registration stations, or pre-register at www.solv.org.

photo: R&T DeMaris

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