ANNUAL BEACH CLEANUP COLLECTS ROGUE RUBBISH IN CURRY COUNTY

October 09, 2001 11:00 pm
Cheryl and Jeff Woodall search for trash at Whaleshead Beach Saturday. ().
Cheryl and Jeff Woodall search for trash at Whaleshead Beach Saturday. ().

Approximately 435 pounds of garbage was rounded up from Curry County beaches during Saturdays Great Oregon Fall Beach Cleanup.

The well-organized volunteer effort, sponsored by SOLV, has been a bi-annual tradition in Oregon since 1984.

State Parks Ranger Angela Kohlhoff set up a table in the parking lot at the Harris Beach Information Center and handed out plastic bags and gloves donated by SOLV to volunteers, along with a data card to fill out.

The card asked volunteers to take a tally of what type of debris they found, including bags, cigarettes or beverage cans; whether they spotted any entangled animals and what was the most peculiar item they collected.

This information helps us keep tabs on tar balls, which would indicate an oil leak somewhere in the ocean, and whether seabirds or other wildlife are being entangled in fishing nets or other debris, said Kohlhoff.

She also handed out yellow strips of ribbon for the volunteers to tag large debris that was too heavy to carry and make a note of its location, so it could be collected later by state park employees.

Jeff and Cheryl Woodall came from Medford to participate in the cleanup.

Its an excuse to come to the beach and clean up at the same time, said Cheryl. We try to do the beach cleanups every spring and fall. Its become a Woodall family tradition.

Thirty-three volunteers combed Curry County beaches, turning in 29 bags of trash. One 55-gallon oil drum was discovered and a volunteer rescued a moon jellyfish.

The cleanup was a state-wide effort, encompassing the whole state of Oregon from Washington to California.

We coordinate the entire event, all 362 miles of Oregons coast, said Bev Ardueser, Program Coordinator for SOLV.

She said, 4,500 volunteers were involved in all, collecting an estimated 18 tons of trash.

Ardueser said the event was a success because of the cooperation of many different groups, including the state parks and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association (ORRA) donated dumpsters to collect the trash and brought in huge trucks to haul the debris to the landfill.

Ardueser had other good news: The beaches were fairly clean overall.