But with raingear and boots, many are out here for Washington CoastSavers Coast Cleanup day. After all, a good rain never stopped a true Northwesterner.
"It's like an Easter egg hunt!" jokes Paul, as we see multi-colored bits of plastic shards scattered among the logs and debris up near the tideline. We've gathered plastic bottles, rusted tin cans, shoes, bits of tires, styrofoam, various other things like a tin of chewing tobacco, and plastic. LOTS of plastic.
I appreciate Paul's humor because finding all this plastic on Second Beach, a relatively pristine wilderness beach in Olympic National Park, is frankly depressing. People, we must cut down on our production and use of plastic!
|Too much plastic in our oceans!|
After checking in the morning and getting big black garbage bags, we head to Second Beach and hike the .75 mile down to the beach through lush forest, past magnificent Sitka spruce and flowering skunk cabbage.
We're hit by the steady, driving rain as we emerge from the forest onto the picturesque beach, where others are already at work picking up trash.
For the next few hours, our group of six walks up and down the beach filling our bags with trash. With the bulk of debris being small pieces of broken plastic, often wedged in the sand or natural ocean debris, it's slow and messy going.
Between the wind and rain, we're coated in sand after a while. But occasionally I stop to take in the beauty of our surroundings. It's a many shades of gray kind of day.
After a morning of getting pelted by the weather, we call it quits and head back. (Last year it was a nicer day and some stayed out until mid-afternoon.)
I was disappointed to not fill my bag, but the predominant tiny pieces of plastic would have taken a couple days to fill the bag. We couldn't haul the several big tires we passed embedded in the sand, but a couple strong guys dragged one back up.
|Beach litter no more.|
My takeaway from this event: Use less plastic. Buy less plastic. That's my personal challenge.
I hope you, too, consider doing the same and encouraging others to do so also. We're trashing our oceans with waste. It's shameful.
When You Go
The Washington CoastSavers has other events throughout the year. Visit their website for details. For Oregon coast beach cleanup events, check out the SOLVE website.
Were you out there too? Would love to hear about your experience or what sort of trash/debris you've found on our Northwest ocean beaches. Just click on the word Comments below. Thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons!