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 at least one beach cleanup event, 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.
2016 Beach Cleanups and Events
September 17th International Coastal Cleanup
Again this year the CMRC 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.
July 5th Elwha Beach Cleanup Results
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.
2015 Beach Cleanups and Events
September 19th International Coastal Cleanup
The CMRC coordinated the cleanup efforts in the Strait of Juan de Fuca with Washington CoastSavers. Unfortunately that Saturday was one of the only rainy days all summer which may have reduced the number of volunteers. Cleanup areas included Dungeness Spit, Peabody Creek, Ediz Hook, Freshwater Bay, Clallam Bay, Hoko River, and Shipwreck Point Beach. More than 90 volunteers participated in the cleanup efforts with the largest crowd seen at Ediz Hook including the entire ROTC team from Port Angeles High School. Approximately 475 lbs. and 20 garbage bags of marine debris were removed along the Strait.
August 2nd Ediz Hook Cleanup Results
A smaller group of seven volunteers came for the second Ediz Hook beach cleanup. Together they collected about seven bags of marine debris. The debris included fast food containers, Styrofoam, clothing, rope, cigarettes and plastic and tin cans. The Clallam MRC provided gloves and bags and the City of Port Angeles provided once again the dumpsters.
Ediz Hook Beach Clean Crew Walks in the Parade!
Clallam County MRC members Cathy Lear, Helle Andersen, Bob Vreeland, intern Haley Gray, and others walked in the 2015 Port Angeles Fourth of July Parade to promote the Ediz Hook Beach cleanup event on July 5th. The focal point of their float was Sarah Tucker’s "Merperson" sculpture, made of marine debris.
July 5th Ediz Hook Beach Clean-up Results
The July 5th Ediz Hook beach cleanup was a huge success. Thirty-five volunteers, the youngest only 5, worked together to clean 20 bags worth of debris. Walking the two miles of shoreline on the bay side and parking areas at the Hook, volunteers reported the most common items found were sparkler sticks and other firework remains. The Clallam MRC provided gloves and bags.
Between January and June 2015, 170 volunteers have picked up 2.12 tons from Strait beaches within Clallam County.