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April 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Walk the beach and do good in Washington coast clean-up

At the Olympic Peninsula's Second Beach, Forks resident and beachcomber   John Anderson last month checked out a bin designed to collect debris. (Erika Schultz photo, The Seattle Times.)

At the Olympic Peninsula’s Second Beach, Forks resident and beachcomber John Anderson last month checked out a bin designed to collect debris. (Erika Schultz photo, The Seattle Times.)

     Can you hold a garbage bag?  Then you can help clean up some of Washington’s ocean beaches on Saturday.

The Washington CoastSavers organizes the annual clean-up day  (April 20 this year) to pick up debris that washes onto the state’s  Pacific Ocean beaches, everything from fishing gear to plastic bottles and chunks of foam.  Last year, 30 tons of marine debris was picked up by more than 1,300 volunteers at beaches. .

     The cleanup covers dozens of beaches on the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula and Long Beach. Some beaches, such as  the lovely  Shi Shi beach at the northwest tip of the peninsula, already have enough volunteers, but others still need people. Among them are Second Beach and Third Beach near La Push, two Olympic National Park wilderness beaches of pounding surf and sea stacks that are an easygoing hike from the road.  Or head farther south to help at beaches near Kalaloch, right by the road, or to  Long Beach with its miles of sandy, easy-access beach.

   Find your beach and sign up online with the CoastSavers or just show up at one of the designated meet-up spots at state or national parks on the ocean. You’ll get a lovely walk on the beach and be doing good, picking up debris in garbage bags that you carry to roadside dumpsters. Or, on some beaches, garbage will be picked up four-wheel-drive vehicles.  And if you’re wondering about tsunami debris from Japan, CoastSavers has online info on handling that.  

CoastSavers unites all sorts of groups, from parks and non-profit groups to government agencies and coastal towns and businesses for the annual clean-up day  and ongoing clean-up.

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