How to Protect Oregon’s Coast and Socially Distance at the Same Time
By Tabitha Voglewede
On April 23, 2021 we’re celebrating the 4th Annual Oregon Coast Cleanup Awareness Day! Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown encourages you to fight against plastic pollution. She proclaimed the start of this special cleanup awareness day in 2017.
Ocean Blue Project and the government of Oregon are working in partnership. We’re working together to clean Oregon’s coastal areas. High volumes of plastic are washing up on Oregon’s coast. We need your help to stop this plastic from destroying Oregon’s natural beauty. And to stop it from destroying Oregon’s terrestrial and marine life.
Ocean Blue aims to design a zero-landfill cleanup solution. We need help keeping Oregon’s coasts free of plastics. We’re requesting volunteers to go the extra mile of recycling the remaining plastic.
A zero-landfill cleanup means that trash picked up during a cleanup ends in recycling and not the landfill.
On April 23rd we’re calling for your support and help to preserve the Oregon Coast!!!
What’s a Coastal Cleanup?
What do you do at a beach clean up?
What’s a way to protect your community’s waterways? A cleanup! Cleanups are an important activity to keep our ocean and coastal regions clean.
At cleanups volunteers come together to remove trash polluting local waterways. By volunteering for a cleanup party you’re saving the earth one piece of discarded plastic at a time. Every person who cleans is keeping the earth safe for future generations.
Picking up trash is important. Doing so stops it from polluting and harming wildlife and the surrounding environment. Plastics left in the ocean or on coastlines harm marine life in both the short and long-term.
Pollution causes marine life to decrease. This impacts Oregon’s fisheries and tourism. By focusing on cleanups you’re preventing harmful effects. Cleanups are the best solution to get rid of water pollution that has taken place. Not polluting in the first place would be considerably better!
Ocean Blue project has organized 5,854 volunteers to remove 191,273 lbs of debris and microplastics from beaches.
When large amounts of people do a small thing, the ripple spreads wide. That’s why Ocean Blue wants your help on April 23, 2021 for Oregon’s coast cleanup.
Cleanups may be targeted to a specific beach area to help combat polluted areas. Your efforts today help keep surrounding areas safe. Many coasts need a continual stream of volunteers to monitor the levels of water pollution.
By cleaning up trash, you’re preserving the area’s natural beauty for tomorrow.
Creating a better future
Plastics and debris fill our ocean and coastal regions. There’s a problem with keeping plastic out of our waters and beaches. Trash lines our oceans, rivers and water regions. And most likely the trash removed from cleanups ends up in landfills.
Yet, here at Ocean Blue, we want to have a complete cleanup with the final plastic trash sent to recycling. And not thrown into the nearest trash can.
In 2017 the Ellen MacArthur Foundation projected that “by 2050 we could have more plastic in the ocean than fish”. But this projection doesn’t have to be a reality. We can fight back against this invasion of plastic. You can help reduce that likelihood by doing a cleanup of your own.
There is approximately 12,380 miles of coastline in the United States. And The Oregon coastline is roughly 363 miles long. So that means Oregon’s coast is approximately 3% of America’s total coastlines.
Why Participate in a Coastal Cleanup? What is Coastal Cleaning?
Help Your Community
Here at Ocean Blue we want to reduce plastic pollution in oceans and coasts. We also want to help your community. The Oregon Annual Coast Cleanup day coming soon in April is an example of helping this local community.
We want to spread the news of how to volunteer and clean up the coastal waters. Volunteering is key to reducing pollutants in our oceans and coasts.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place, a cleanup party will look different. This year volunteers will stay separated with their family and friends. By acting safe, COVID-19 isn’t stopping you from preserving your waters.
In fact, this is an outdoor activity where you can socially distance as far as you want from others. As a result of volunteering you’re contributing to:
● Cleaner water
● Protection of terrestrial and marine life
● An enhancing quality of living for animals and people alike
● A unifying sense of support and love for your community
● Beautification of your community
Spreading awareness that will help others make wise decisions about our environment
Low Investment Costs with High Rewards
You might be thinking, “What type of equipment do I need for a cleanup? Is this a costly activity to volunteer for?” It is much cheaper than you might think!
All you need is:
● A mask
● A positive attitude
● To wear comfortable clothing and shoes
● Hand sanitizer
● Sunscreen and a hat
● A reusable water bottle ─ No point in contributing to the problem by buying a single-use plastic bottle!
● A reusable bag, bucket, container or wagon to hold the trash you’ve collected
Once you have your equipment ready, feel free to start your cleanup at one of Oregon’s 199 state parks. Our federal government owns most of Oregon’s coastal land.
The trash container that you bring along will determine how long you’ll be cleaning up. After finished, it’s ideal to weigh your total trash collected to record your hard work.
Imagine how fast your total cleanup weight will increase each time you go out. What an amazing way to help save our planet! You’re saving both terrestrial and marine animals, and preserving natural resources.
People across the world are helping to clean the ocean. And now it’s your turn to help. Ocean Blue Project wants help to keep Oregon’s coastal beaches and ocean clean. Don’t forget to tag Ocean Blue Project in your social media picture that you post with your cleanup!
What to Do With the Trash You Find in a Coastal Cleanup?
Ocean Blue wants to create a zero-landfill solution. It wants all the water pollution on Oregon’s coastline to go to a recycling center. Recycling the trash you find on beach cleanups helps further this goal.
Every piece of trash picked up helps Oregon’s local economy to improve. People want to vacation at safe beaches and waters. Not trashed up beaches where they might get hurt.
Record Weight of Trash Collected
Help Ocean Blue break its 2020 record of trash collected! Record your amount of trash collected. And record the amount of plastics recycled. Everytime you volunteer, let Ocean Blue know. We want to celebrate your successes with you!
You might be thinking, “How do you even recycle plastic picked up from the ocean?” At first glance recycling may seem complicated. Yet, by taking time after finishing your cleanup you can identify what types of plastics you have.
All types of plastics have a symbol on the bottom. These are the common symbols to look for:
● 1/PETE or 01/PE-HE
● 2/HDPE or 02/PE-HE
● 3/V or 03/PVC
● 4/LDPE or 04/PE-LD
● 5/PP or 05/PP
● 6/PS or 06/PS
● 7/OTHER or 07/O
As you can see there are many types of plastics. But it’s easy to identify what type you have if you can find the symbol. Contact your nearest recycling center for detailed questions. They know the best recycling methods for your trash.
Spread Awareness of Plastics Related Danger to Terrestrial and Marine Life
Plastics are everywhere now. And it’s Ocean Blue’s mission to remove as much plastic from its water as possible. The good news is you still have time to plan ahead and help cleanup Oregon’s Coast on April 23rd. This is a safe outdoor socially-distanced family activity. You might already exercise along the beach. If so, you can put in place this cleaning activity too.
After participating in your own cleanup, document your findings. Then share it on social media tagging Ocean Blue Project. Spread your awareness on any platform that you feel comfortable. You’re doing an awesome job saving the planet!
And don’t forget to record the following data from your own cleanup project and provide it to Ocean Blue:
● How many people in your cleanup party?
● Amount of trash removed?
● Was there something unusual that you found?
● Would you like to enjoy a future cleanup?
Thank you for supporting Ocean Blue’s awareness of the dangers of plastic.
Join a Cleanup Today
● Educate yourself on the weather and environmental hazards at your cleanup location.
● Contact Ocean Blue for support in organizing coastal cleanups in one’s own community.
● Register to create a cleanup event where you can lead your own event.
● Support Ocean Blue Project with a donation.
Thank you for your help in preserving the Oregon’s Coast!
Author Bio: Tabitha Voglewede is a chemist, attorney, entrepreneur, and writer for the green energy industry.