Marine debris, including tsunami debris from Japan, contributes to problems in our marine waters and on beaches. To address this concern, the Clallam MRC has partnered with local organizations, state and federal agencies and other MRCs to form a network of citizen volunteers to carry out marine debris removal projects. The goal of the project is to improve marine habitats, increase public awareness of marine debris sources and to reduce the amount found on local beaches.
The Clallam MRC works to identify areas of where debris accumulates, access points, and local resources to collect the debris. Each year the MRC co-sponsors two beach cleanup events, typically held on or around the April Earth Day celebrations and the International Coastal Cleanup in September. Many co-sponsors and volunteers contribute to these events. Clallam MRC helps provide funding for the dumpsters, garbage bags and gloves.
2017 Beach Cleanups and Events
September 16th International Coastal Cleanup
For the third year the Clallam MRC organized the cleanup efforts between Bullman Beach and Dungeness Spit in collaboration with CoastSavers. Marine debris was removed from 11 beaches along the Strait of Juan de Fuca by a total of 67 volunteers. An estimated 610 lbs. of marine debris was from the beaches. This year the Port Angeles rowing club participated in the cleanup effort and adopted the beaches along Ediz Hook.
Picture shows Port Angeles rowing club.
Post July 4th Elwha Beach Cleanup
Again this year one of the Clallam MRC summer interns organized a beach cleanup after July 4th. The team of volunteers searched the beach and along the river but found very little firework debris. This was assumed to be an outcome of a very windy Fouth of July.
April 29th Earth Day Cleanup
On Earth Day Clallam MRC coordinated the cleanup effort along the Strait by ensuring that five coordination sites were staffed and had all the needed equipment. Marine debris was removed from at least 11 beaches and Peabody Creek in Port Angeles by 207 volunteers. Almost 2,000 lbs. or one ton of debris was removed. Clallam MRC paid for the dumpster at Clallam Bay.
2016 Beach Cleanups and Events
September 17th International Coastal Cleanup
The Clallam MRC coordinated the cleanup efforts in the Strait of Juan de Fuca with CoastSavers. Unfortunately, the clean-up effort was hampered by rainy weather which impacted the number of volunteers showing up at the beaches. Eight beaches were visited along the Strait by a total of 80 volunteers. A total of about 800 lbs. were removed with the majority of the debris removed from Peabody Creek (396 lbs).
Picture shows the Peabody Creek cleanup team.
Post July 4th Elwha Beach Cleanup
The City of Port Angeles' ban of personal fireworks within the city limits went into effect in April 2016. That left everybody wondering where people would go with their fireworks. One possible place was the west side of the Elwha Estuary at Place Road. After July 4th a couple of Clallam MRC members went out on the beach and found the firework debris already collected in a pile above the wrack line. Two of the summer interns went out and picked up the firework debris which weighed in at about 26 lbs.
April 23rd Earth Day Cleanup
On Earth Day Clallam MRC in partnership with CoastSavers organized the cleanup efforts along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Earth Day cleanup effort was a success. Marine debris was removed from between 10 and 15 beaches by a total of 172 volunteers. The total amount removed is not known, but 500 lbs. were removed from the beaches near Joyce. Clallam MRC paid for the dumpster at Clallam Bay.