April 19 is Washington Coast Cleanup Day, but you could make it a weekend at the ocean.
The annual organized cleanup effort is scheduled on beaches from Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River north to Hobuck Beach on the Makah Indian Reservation.
Washington CoastSavers hopes to get volunteers out to work all along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including beaches at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, at Port Williams and Dungeness Spit near Sequim, and at Peabody Creek in Port Angeles.
Gov. Jay Inslee, who declared the special cleanup day, said in a statement that the coast is threatened by tons of household plastics, lost fishing gear and other manmade debris.
The beaches to be cleaned include several state parks, miles of wilderness coast in the Olympic National Park and places on tribal reservations, including two beaches on the Quinalt reservation not typically open to the public.
Olympic National Park Superintendant Sarah Creachbaum said park staff cannot possibly take care of all the debris on the ocean beaches in the Olympic.
Volunteers can help with a range of tasks, from gathering debris and carrying it back to roadside dumpsters or, on the Long Beach Peninsula and around Ocean Shores, driving the beaches and picking up filled bags.
“This is really an exciting event every year, because it brings so many people out to help clean up our ocean beaches,” said Don Hoch, state parks director. “We have one of the most beautiful stretches of ocean beach in the country, and we are grateful to those who come out and join the fun of working together to care for it.”
To sign up for their favorite beach, volunteers are asked to go to www.coastsavers.org/washington.