Big Cleanup: Volunteers Clean Up Local River Canals and State Beaches | New
Residents of the Multnomah Canal braved wet and windy conditions on Saturday, September 18 for their 5th annual cleanup.
Organizers said 25 intrepid volunteers paddled and barged through the rain and wind.
Using four water bikes, a paddle board, three barges and a skiff, they recovered 2,740 pounds of garbage, 13 tires, 20 full SOLVE garbage bags, four glass buckets, lots of metal and all sizes of styrofoam.
Thanks to Kathleen Boultin-Pasterz, who waived the tipping fee again this year, the collected materials and debris all went to the Columbia County transfer station, organizers said.
The effort was part of a statewide cleanup from Sept. 18 to Oct. 3, in which Oregon residents participated in SOLVE’s 38th annual beach and shoreline cleanup in partnership with the Oregon Lottery.
The voluntary event aims to improve the health of waterways through waste collection and restoration work. Although this event spans three weekends, most of the volunteer projects took place on Saturday, September 25.
Since the start of the event, more than 2,000 volunteers have come together and collected 26,815 pounds of marine litter and debris from Oregon’s coast, rivers, waterways and neighborhoods, according to a release from SOLVE.
“For many Oregonians, there was an even greater willingness to participate in a statewide clean-up and restoration event this year,” the state version said. “Droughts have persisted in western states through the summer months, sounding the alarm on the importance of taking care of our water as a precious natural resource. “
According to SOLVE, by removing waste anywhere, volunteers prevent pollution everywhere. Any waste or debris that is not properly disposed of poses a risk to the environment, wildlife and water quality. Waste is more easily carried by the wind in storm sewers or waterways. From there it can sink downstream, adding marine debris to our international crisis.
Volunteers came together in more than 100 projects across the state to demonstrate their commitment to keeping Oregon’s waterways clean.
Along the Oregon coast, Heart of Cartm, a recycling and reuse organization, a new SOLVE beach captain in Nehalem Bay, collected over 400 pounds of marine litter and debris at their project site. . Jessi Just, the executive director of Heart of Cartm, then sorted through the collected items, looking for things that were on her organization’s “wish list”. These objects will find new life in upcoming repair shops and art classes, according to SOLVE.
The nonprofit Washed Ashore also helped divert other items collected from the waste stream from three beach cleanups. As they have been doing for several years, members of the Washed Ashore team have scoured the southern Oregon coast, collecting items that can be reused in their nationally recognized art sculptures.
In Portland, more than 400 volunteers participated in various cleanup projects across the city. The project located in Portland’s Central Eastside saw more than 80 volunteers who removed 1,230 pounds of trash in just two hours. This cleanup targeted waste that, if not picked up, would have a high possibility of entering the nearby Willamette River. Among the items recovered were crab pots, sofas and rafting equipment.
According to SOLVE, every volunteer has made a direct difference in Oregon’s water quality and environmental health. SOLVE supports volunteer projects all year round. To view upcoming volunteer opportunities, please visit solveoregon.org.
Beach and River Cleanup is in partnership with the Oregon Lottery, with additional support from the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation, Metro, Subaru of Portland, Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, Chevron, NAVEX Global, Fred Meyer, Facebook, Clean Water Services, Bamboo Sushi, The Coca-Cola Company, and Tillamook County Creamery Association.
SOLVE is a state-wide non-profit organization established in 1969 to improve the state’s environment and build a legacy of stewardship.
The Tillamook Headlight Herald contributed to this report.