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Posted by: Terri on April 13, 2012 | Categories:
On March 31st, at 10 a.m., AnswerConnect employees gathered in the parking lot of the Pelican Pub Brewery at Cape Kiwanda. We were joined by hundreds of other volunteers carrying buckets, old colanders for straining sand and plastic bags emblazoned with the SOLV logo to participate in the 2012 Oregon Beach Clean Up.
Twenty-eight years ago, Judy Hansen of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was shocked by a bear’s autopsy results. The bear’s stomach held the remains of 13 Styrofoam cups, likely the cause of death by starvation. Judy began to study the effects of plastic pollutants in natural habitats, and the annual Oregon Beach Clean Up took shape. The first year alone, 2,100 volunteers gathered 26 tons of trash from Oregon beaches. SOLV (Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism) began coordinating the event in 1986, and it’s been going strong ever since.
As we drove to Cape Kiwanda we expected to spend the day huddled in rain, sifting through sand with cold fingers. Instead we were rewarded by mild weather and the occasional sunburst. The pint-sized and four-legged members of our team were able to play on the dunes as we kept an eye out for pieces of Styrofoam and tiny bits of plastic masquerading as sea shells.
“The weather was a pleasant surprise,” Donny Stevens, Assistant Manager, recalled. “It was more fun than work. We got to spend a day at the beach and meet our co-workers’ families, all while doing a something good for the environment.”
Our “hard work” resulted in three full bags of trash and one car door! We’re lucky to live so close to Oregon’s beautiful rugged beaches, and we’re proud to have done our part in keeping our home state litter-free.
AnswerConnect is always on the lookout for new volunteer opportunities in our community. We can’t wait for the next one!
If you are interested in getting involved, check out SOLV’s website for details on upcoming events, including a Japanese Tsunami Debris workshop.