SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup
Presented by the Oregon Lottery | September 24, 2016
Thank You Volunteers!
Check out the 2016 Event Photos
Results are still coming in, but we estimate that over 4,600 dedicated volunteers came out in force on Saturday, September 24 to remove trash and improve Oregon's environment as part of the annual SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup, presented by the Oregon Lottery. Oregonians joined over a half million volunteers across the nation and world as this event aligns with the International Coastal Cleanup and National Public Lands Day.
This year, an estimated 61,000 pounds of trash and marine debris, and 145 tires were removed from 120 project sites including beaches, rivers, neighborhoods, parks, and natural areas across the state. Invasive, non-native plants were cleared from nearly 3 acres of natural area, and over 600 native trees and shrubs were planted.
There were many amazing volunteers working to help keep Oregon beautiful. The Wallace Marine Park project in Salem was the largest inland event, bringing out 147 volunteers, including the event's Presenting Sponsor, the Oregon Lottery, and Major Sponsor, Wells Fargo. Volunteers removed nearly 2,000 pounds of debris and helped clear invasive English ivy.
"A common thread that binds nearly all Oregonians together is how much we all take pride in our state," said Oregon Lottery Acting Director Barry Pack. "And one of the things we can all be proud of is how SOLVE and thousands of Oregonians have been helping make Oregon a special place for 47 years."
"As a long-time supporter of SOLVE and events like SOLVE's Beach and Riverside Cleanup, the Oregon Lottery encourages everyone to find a SOLVE event in their area and continue the great work that SOLVE has been doing for decades," added Pack.
In Portland, hundreds of volunteers cleaned up along the Willamette River, including the Pink Phoenix Dragonboat Team. As the first dragonboat team in the US comprised of breast cancer survivors, team members were eager to give back to the river that gives them so much. On the south coast, 75 community volunteers came out to the inaugural North Spit Beach Cleanup and Educational Fair, removing 2,100 pounds of marine debris off remote beaches.
At her 29th and final cleanup as the SOLVE Zone 14 Captain, Angela Stewart left a lasting legacy, removing over 1,000 pounds of debris with the help of 45 Brookings volunteers at this year's event. The Beach & Riverside Cleanup also marked her final day as an Oregon State Park Ranger. "It all has been so much fun," said Stewart.
The most common items found during the event were tiny bits of plastic, cigarette butts, fishing rope, glass bottles and plastic bottles. Interesting items found by volunteers included a large Raggedy Ann doll in Rockaway, a hot tub in Gold Beach, a broken elephant Buddha statue along the Columbia River, an entire RV toilet at Sand Lake, and a toy truck that was re-gifted to a young Netarts Bay volunteer.
The Beach & Riverside Cleanup began in 1984 as "The Plague of Plastics" after Oregonians, Judie Hansen and Eleanor Dye, were inspired to rid the state's beaches of litter. In the first year alone, volunteers removed 26 tons of trash. Three decades later, the event has expanded to include inland litter cleanups and watershed restoration projects across the state and has served as a cleanup model that has spread across the nation and throughout the world.
Today, the success of this event is due in large part to the dedicated coordinators and beach captains that step up to lead projects throughout the state.
"This event is truly inspiring because it starts with Oregonians noticing a problem in their local neighborhood, park or beach and wanting to make a difference," said Joy Hawkins, SOLVE Program Coordinator. "If it weren't for local citizens and all of our volunteer leaders and sponsors, this event would not be possible."
SOLVE extends its thanks to the Local Coast Haulers
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2015 Beach & Riverside Cleanup