Time to talk trash. Maybe up to 4,000 pounds of it, if the Gold Beach and Brookings spring cleanup events are any indication.
Now that it’s fall, it’s time again for a beach and riverside cleanup.
In Brookings the south-coast event runs from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. In Gold Beach, the event starts at 9 a.m. and continues until 1 p.m.
Volunteers can pre-register online to help clean in either the Brookings or Gold Beach areas, or report to the event locations on the day of the event.
The activity is family- and dog-friendly, although organizers ask that pets be kept leashed.
The project is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, an annual worldwide effort to keep beaches and waterways clean and healthy. On the Oregon coast, volunteers pick up litter and marine debris along the entire coastline.
“Don’t forget about the small stuff! The No. 1 items found on Oregon beaches are tiny bits of plastic and cigarette butts, which are harmful to shore birds and marine life. Bring an old colander to sift the sand for these items,” according to SOLVE, a statewide, Portland-based environmental group.
“The goal is to not have any trash, but there’s always some,” said Oregon State Parks Department interpretive ranger Jeff Gallemore. “We want to do the cleanup now, before the winter weather comes in and the tides move it out to sea.
“If we gather it all now after the summer’s use, we keep it out of streams and the ocean.
“This year, event organizers are trying something different that will make the event a little more sustainable,” Gallemore said. “They are asking volunteers to bring their own reusable bags, gloves, and buckets to use for the cleanup, instead of organizers providing new bags and gloves to participants.”
Gallemore advised participants to wear sturdy shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. “In addition, bring your own reusable water bottle,” he said.
“The idea is to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced by the event itself.”
Hauling, disposal and recycling services are being donated by Curry Transfer and Recycling.
Volunteers can come to the Brookings Rest Area across U.S. Highway 101 from Harris Beach State Park and Visitor Center. Gallemore is heading up the Brookings-area event. “Look for signs directing you to the registration area,” he said.
After checking in, volunteers will fan out to clean beaches at Crissey Field, McVay Rock, South Jetty, Mill Beach, Harris Beach and Whales Head Picnic Area. Brookings-area volunteers also can opt to clean along the Chetco River.
“Last spring, volunteers in the Brookings area brought in more than 500 pounds of trash,” Gallemore said.
Event registration is at the Gold Beach Visitor Center, at the south end of town on Shirley Lane, off of U.S. Highway 101.
The Gold Beach cleanup covers from Pistol River to Bailey Beach. Participants also can opt to clean their favorite stretch of the Rogue River.
“Last spring, the cleanup group in Gold Beach broke all records, with 133 adults and 34 youth cleaning 20 miles of beach,” Gold Beach Visitor Center Director Debbie Branson said.
“They brought in 3,300 pounds of trash. It was amazing. We had a bunch of tires, which really added up.”
Participants in the Gold Beach cleanup will receive a coupon for two free tacos from the South Yo Mouth food truck at 29900 Harbor Way.
For more information about the Brookings cleanup, call 541-469-0224. For information about the Gold Beach cleanup, call 541-247-7526. To preregister online, go to https://www.solveoregon.org.