On Saturday Sept. 21, SOLVE will host its Beach and Riverside Cleanup in conjunction with the Oregon Lottery where over 140 different cleanup projects will come together to pick up marine debris and litter. People can sign up to volunterr at local beaches at Fort Steven State Park and beaches in Gearhart, Seaside, Cannon Beach and Nehalem Bay State Park on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The beach cleanup happens to also be on International Coastal Cleanup Day and National Public Lands Day.
“Our mission at SOLVE is to bring Oregonians together with the intention of improving environmental stewardship. A common thread here is community, which means taking care of the land that means the most to our volunteers,” Larrisa Gordon, communications and outreach coordinator said.
SOLVE is an organization that runs year round and helps put together various cleanup events around Oregon. Their biggest events include the Beach and Riverside Cleanup and another similar event on March 28 2020.
An additional cleanup will happen Saturday, Sept. 28, for those who can’t make the Sept. 21 cleanup.
“I believe that the health of our oceans has such a tempering event to our global ecosystem. Taking care of the oceans is more than cleaning up beaches of marine debris and trash. When you cleanup a beach the effects are felt worldwide,” Gordon said.
Volunteers for cleanups do not need to bring anything other than comfortable clothes for cleanup attire. SOLVE provides bags, gloves, safety equipment, first aid supplies, a biohazard box for any sharps found on the beach. They also give a safety briefing to volunteers before the cleanup.
Volunteers are now encouraged to bring their own reused and repurposed bags and gloves. These can be old shopping bags or an old pair of gardening gloves reused for the cleanup.
Marine debris and litter has a lasting impact on the beaches where they lay and the oceans they eventually end up floating in.
“We try to instill in our volunteers that it’s local, but has a global reach. After being a part of a cleanup, when you walk on the beach or sidewalk there is more of an awareness than you think and that can cause a lot of change in a community,” Gordon said.
People can also make the same impact even if they can’t make the beach cleanup events by simply picking up extra trash that they see on the ground, the beach the sidewalk or anywhere.
Gordon encourages those who attend the beach cleanups to “Leave with just a few more items than you came here with.”