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Help SOLVE the Problem of Marine Debris: Volunteer for the SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup

Portland, Ore — Be part of the Oregon Beach Cleanup tradition by joining thousands of volunteers  March 31st, from 10am to 1pm. SOLVE encourages volunteers from around the state to join in the effort of clearing the entire Oregon Coast of the trash washed ashore from winter storms. Visit www.solv.org to register online and view a map of check-in sites, or call SOLVE at (503) 844-9571 ext. 332.

The global impact of marine debris is particularly visible this year following the tragic 2011 tsunami in Japan, which threw tons of debris into that Pacific Ocean. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ocean Service, debris from Japan could potentially reach the West Coast in 2013. “SOLVE is working with multiple partners to prepare for additional cleanups if need be, and the help of volunteers across Oregon will be critical to prevent marine debris from damaging habitat, tangling wildlife, and clogging boat engines.” says Melisa McDonald, SOLVE’s Executive Director.

NOAA predicts that plastic items from the tsunami are the most likely to reach the West Coast. “Plastic debris and other synthetic materials can cause lasting damage to ocean ecosystems and wildlife” says Diana Bartlett, SOLVE’s Beach Cleanup Coordinator. “The majority of plastic found in the ocean is a result of overuse and careless disposal” she adds. Bite-sized pieces of plastic, including cigarette filters and bottle caps can be mistaken as food and ingested by wildlife leading to malnutrition, injury or even starvation. Larger debris such as rope, fishing line, and nets can tangle and strangle wildlife, as well as damage boat propellers and engines.

Last spring, more than 3,400 volunteers removed an estimated 52,617 pounds of trash off the coast, including 4,627 pounds of recycled materials.

The Oregon Spring Beach Cleanup is made possible by Coordinating Sponsors The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Local Coast Garbage and Recycling Haulers, and Legacy Sponsors Fred Meyer and the Tektronix Foundation.

Did you notice the E? SOLVE is unveiling a new logo that more accurately reflects the work of the organization – the active participation of volunteers choosing to SOLVE. SOLVE was founded in 1969 and was among the first in the nation to pioneer volunteer beach cleanups. SOLVE’s mission is to bring Oregonians together to improve the environment and build a legacy of stewardship.

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