Washington Coast Cleanup | Saturday, April 22
PORT ANGELES, Wash. – Every April, thousands of volunteers descend upon over 300 miles of shoreline in Washington State to participate in the annual Washington Coast Cleanup (WCC) and remove tons of trash. Much of the event is organized and sponsored by Washington CoastSavers, an alliance of partners and volunteers dedicated to keeping the state’s beaches clean of marine debris through coordinated beach cleanups, education, and prevention efforts.
Olympic National Park is just one of many alliance partners participating in this annual event, with several beaches in the park selected for clean-up on Saturday, April 22. Some of these coastal areas are part of the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness, and all park beaches will present unique challenges for participants. For example, motor vehicles are not allowed on any park beach, and all litter or debris must be removed on foot. Camping in the coastal campgrounds of Olympic National Park (Kalaloch, Mora, and Ozette) will be free for volunteers beginning Friday evening, April 21, through Sunday morning, April 23. Backcountry permit fees will also be waived for volunteer participants staying overnight on wilderness beaches of Olympic National Park.
At some locations, such as Cape Alava and Sand Point, dedicated volunteers must hike several miles to reach the beach, then gather trash and haul it back to the trailhead at Lake Ozette. Besides using garbage bags to clear debris, some volunteers tie multiple buoys or floats to their framed backpacks while others may roll out automobile tires one by one. “It takes ingenuity and sweat to keep the coast clean,” says Olympic National Park Volunteer Coordinator Heather Stephens.
“Olympic National Park protects over 70 miles of the most primitive, natural coastline in the lower 48 states,” park superintendent Sula Jacobs said. “Unfortunately, our beautiful and remote coast is subject to a continuous flow of marine debris and single-use plastics that harm wildlife and the marine ecosystem. Thanks to the help of our partners at CoastSavers and all the wonderful volunteers each year, the natural beauty of the coast is preserved, and our beaches are kept clean. Without them, we would be unable to preserve the park’s incredible resources or wilderness character.”
Volunteers wishing to participate in the Olympic National Park coastal cleanup can register at https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/2023-olympic-national-park-wa-coastal-cleanup-2042699.
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