The 17th biannual beach cleanup in South Sound, organized by the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, is set for Wednesday, March 13.
Crews from several different shellfish farms will pick up marine debris by boat.
Other volunteers involved are the Squaxin and Nisqually tribes, Pacific Shellfish Institute, Department of Natural Resources, and Nisqually Reach Nature Center. They will cover over 100 miles of beach in several Inlets including Eld, Totten, Henderson, Hammersley, Case and Carr. There will also be crews on Squaxin, Harstine, Hope, McNeil and Anderson islands, and Oakland Bay.
The past 16 cleanups have covered approximately 120 miles of beach with about 80 people involved at each event. The bulk of the debris tends to be Styrofoam and tires. In the last seven years the growers have gathered about 850 cubic yards of debris from South Sound beaches, an amount of trash equal to 85 dump truck loads. In addition to that they have collected over 1,000 tires.
The crews will meet at Arcadia boat ramp and National Oyster Co. to dispose and recycle the trash. The beach cleanup is funded by proceeds from the shellfish growers' annual SLURP seafood, beer and wine festival in Olympia.
To report areas with marine debris please call 1-800-964-6532. Waterfront property owners who would prefer growers not walk their beaches should call 360-754-2744.