Frequently Asked Ocean Blue Questions
Where are you active?
Ocean Blue Project began in Oregon and is now active in seven States (California, Florida, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington), covering significant coastal areas in the United States. In 2019, Ocean Blue Project expanded its international activities and its first Chapter in Brazil was established in the State of Goiás.
In 2019, Ocean Blue Project engaged 2,000 volunteers in Oregon, 2,000 in California, and 1,000 in Washington and Florida at 200 beach clean-ups.
What impact have your activities had?
Ocean Blue Project has had a significant impact both in physical clean-up and restoration activities as well as in educational outreach.
Over its years of activity, Ocean Blue has: removed 173,302 lbs. of debris from beaches and rivers since 2012 planted 8,900 native trees and shrubs since 2016 engaged 5,800 volunteers nationwide
conducted 100 service learning projects annually.
Since our father and son founders began this mission, Ocean Blue volunteers have removed 173,302 pounds of debris from beaches and waterways, including 82,582 pounds in 2019 alone.
We have planted 8,900 native shrubs and Trees for Streams and engage 5,800 students and volunteers annually at 100 or more community service learning projects.
Why is it important to clean our waterways and oceans?
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 79% of all beach debris (not including cigarette butts or synthetic rope) is made of plastic.
Once in the water, plastic never fully biodegrades, instead breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, eventually becoming “microplastics” less than 5mm long and causing harm to marine life.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the total weight of plastics in the ocean could exceed that of fish by 2050.
Also, a 2013 EPA report found that 55% of America’s waterways are in poor condition due to phosphorus and nitrogen.
What are some of your successes?
Ocean Blue Project initiated the Blue Streams & Rivers Program through an Urban Stream Wildlife Enhancement Project in 2012 at Sequoia Creek in Corvallis, Oregon. During the third year of the project, Ocean Blue Project introduced fungi to soil where native species were planted as part of a holistic ecosystem approach that enhances microorganisms in the soil and allows plants to thrive. We are now collaborating with NASA at the Ames site and a local Oregon stream site to research which fungi species are most effective in cleaning pollution near waterways.
In 2016, the Blue Streams & Rivers Program expanded to include an Urban Stream Project at SE Oak Creek that flows through the Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC) campus in Albany. LBCC students, Oregon State University interns, and Linn County Juvenile Department volunteers made up the 24-strong team led by Ocean Blue Project that planted 100 native plants from New Beginnings Garden.
This Ocean Cleanup project has provided an opportunity to expose at-risk youths to nature and the outdoors. The collaborative project with New Beginnings Garden gave those youths opportunities to join a therapeutic outdoor program that teaches horticulture and job skills, while raising their awareness of native plant species and their positive impacts on the environment.
Furthermore, through grant funding and community support, Ocean Blue Project has been able to plant 6,200 native shrubs and trees in tributaries of the Willamette River, including Sequoia Creek, Block 15 Bioswale, and Periwinkle Creek of Albany in Linn County, Oregon.
Who are your corporate sponsors?
Ocean Blue Project is proud to work with the following sponsors:
1% For the Planet
Willamette’s Week – Give!Guide
Sunriver Brewing Co.
What foundations have funded your projects?
Spirit Mountain Community Fund
Schwemm Family Foundation
Oregon Community Foundation Donor Advised Fund
Schwab Charitable Donor Advised Fund
Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund