What do baby strollers, tractor tires and Santa Claus have in common? These unique items were all found discarded alongside Oregon waterways by SOLVE volunteers at last year's Beach and Riverside Cleanup. On September 28, 2013 thousands of Oregonians are needed to once again scour beaches, rivers and parks before fall rains wash debris into storm drains and out to sea.
"Every corner of every street is connected to a river, to a watershed and to our ocean," said Kaleen Boyle, SOLVE Outreach Coordinator. "Each time you stop to help, be it by picking up a bottle cap or planting a tree, you impact that connection - you make it a better one. This event gives all Oregonians a chance to take part in protecting the areas we hold dear."
Presented by the Oregon Lottery, the SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup is part of the International Coastal Cleanup and includes over 100 volunteer-led cleanup and watershed restoration projects throughout the state. Last year, more than 4,400 volunteers joined together to clear 64,400 pounds of debris and plant 5,596 native plants.
Volunteers typically clean up cigarette filters, Styrofoam, plastic caps, lids, bottles and bags. Most plastics do not biodegrade but instead break down into tiny pieces that can be harmful to fish, birds and marine mammals. "While these may seem like small, harmless items, cumulatively they can pose a large threat to a variety of wildlife," said Joy Irby, SOLVE Program Coordinator.
Oregonians are urged to join their friends and neighbors on September 28 by registering for a site and making a difference in their own community.
"Volunteers have always been the heart and soul of this cleanup," said Irby. "We feel very fortunate to work year after year with people who love this state as much as we do."
Oregon's beaches and rivers need help! This year's cleanup runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 28. Volunteers who pre-register for a site will be automatically entered into a drawing to win two tickets to the sold out Jack Johnson concert on October 16. To volunteer or make a donation, register online at www.solvoregon.org or call 503-844-9571 or 1-800-333-SOLV.