Marine Debris by Land and by Sea

The storms just before Christmas brought in another large amount of debris. Fortunately, we had some amazingly beautiful weather afterwards allowing for some major clean-ups. Between CoastWatch, Solve and Surfrider, rapid response clean-ups took place all along the Oregon Coast.

Great thanks go out to the Dubois family(mile 202), Nancy Edwards (mile 203), brand new CoastWatcher Nancy Moore(mile 203 and seriously new.. just joined CoastWatch in the morning) and Nancy Edwards’ friend Paul who didn’t hesitate to help. Within 15 minutes of Ryan Parker calling me for help, we were able to be down there and cleaning up, thereby avoiding the disaster that Lighthouse Beach in Charleston had when the dock hit their beach and clean up was not as easily accessible. We also picked up a laundry basket variety of plastic bits, water bottles and a coleman propane bottle.

SOLVE hosted over 8 cleanups the last week of December.

Surfrider chapters and CoastWatch volunteers again, responded quickly to the accumulation at Lighthouse Beach. Ian Rodger, Beach Clean up Coordinator for Coos County Surfrider organized a clean up for Lighthouse Beach which had gotten slammed with more styrofoam again. This foam is residual material from the derelict dock last winter. He mobilized a team, Saturday December 26th to tackle some of the debris. Volunteers were asked to bring rubbermaid tubs and colanders in order to sift the micro pellets from the sand and surrounding area.

Surfrider also scheduled two clean ups in Lincoln County. Taft Beach that had three river docks beach on it and Moolack Beach that had more than the usual amount of domestic and Tsunami marine debris. Taft, south of Lincoln City on December 29th and Moolack Beach on January 3rd.
Taft Dock Cleanup, Dec 29th, 2014
7 People, 4300 lbs removed or staged for removal in 4 hours
Pictures are from the clean up on the North and South sides on the Salishan Spit. 7 Volunteers worked both the North and South sides of the Spit for 4 hours. About 300 lbs of debris were removed from the volunteers into a Park Rangers truck and trailer that day. The debris mostly comprised of wood and Styrofoam from river dock docks and some general debris. A 8ft x 20ft section of a river dock was found and determined to be too large to remove by manual means. So, a salvage crew with a backhoe and dump truck was called and removed the estimated 2000 lbs of dock section that morning during the clean up. On the South more remote side of the Spit, volunteers located and moved to above the tide lines and in piles as much as possible more river dock debris, tire with rim, a water heater, and general debris totaling an estimated 2000 lbs. Later in the week park rangers with ATV’s removed the debris for the South Spit.

Moolack Cleanup, Jan 3rd 2015
13 People, 250 lbs removed in 3 hours
Mostly domestic plastic and rope were removed by 13 volunteers that walked various locations between Moolack to Otter Rock for 3 hours. A team of 3 OSU Tsunami Debris researchers lead by John Chapman walked from Otter Rock and Moolack looking for obvious Tsunami debris. They only found previously marked wood timbers from last year.

Vince Pappalardo
Newport Surfrider Chapter Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: 541-272-0004

CoastWatchers, John and Judy Bowman-Kreitmeyer(mile 240), Linda Reid and daughter Alice (mile 239) and some concerned beach walkers (15 total volunteers) joined Beach Rangers Ryan and Jared, and me, as we continued to haul more of the large pieces of the docks and bags of debris from Salishan Spit on December 31st. Along with the large pieces of styrofoam were small chunks, water bottles, various pieces of plastic, a small tire, and a plastic crate. Only organisms appeared to be pelagic barnacles and hydroids.

Additional numbers and data will be posted as it comes in.

In light of the increased storm and wave action, there is a lot of potential for even more tsunami debris to come on shore. Joy has been asked by our partners in Japan (JEAN) to send them a report on what we are finding over the winter. They’ll be writing a report and giving it to the Ministry of the Environment in Japan and want as much information as we can give them. Oregon will be contributing alongside other west coast states and Canada.

If available, Joy would love any information and photos you have related to Japanese/potential tsunami debris from cleanups this past week and in the future. Feel free to pass her contact information to anyone who might be able to contribute.

Also, if you have any cleanups planned and need more volunteers, please let us know. SOLVE, Surfrider, and CoastWatch can add that information to our online calendars to help recruit or send out a targeted email to volunteers in that area.

Fawn Custer
CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator
POB 90, Seal Rock, OR 97376
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