Mainstream Corvallisites are probably familiar with a special day, called Earth Day, where people the world over spend April 22 bringing awareness and action to environmental issues. But did you know that a similar day exists to shed light on issues in the watery realm that makes up the majority of our planet? World Oceans Day is June 8, and you can play a role.
If a whole day wasn’t enough, the Ocean Blue Project is an entire non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Earth’s oceans. In fact, they are coming to a beach near you this month and would very much like you to join them.
Over the river and through the woods, friends in Newport’s historic Nye Beach are putting on Beach Cleanup events the 8-10. Friday’s organized cleanup will begin at 3 p.m. and end at 6 p.m., Saturday’s will run 1:30-6 p.m., and Sunday’s will be from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Look for the Ocean Blue Project flags and sign-up table to join their efforts in picking up marine debris found in the high tide line, with a focus on plastics.
Because plastics easily float, removing them from the beach will prevent them from being picked up by the next high tide and carried out to sea, where currents can take the waste all the way to the Pacific gyre garbage patch where they are especially dangerous to fish and wildlife. In addition, removal will prevent larger plastics from degrading into micro plastics. Micro plastics are a much harder form of pollution to deal with, and can work their way up the local food chain into seafood…the kind humans like to consume.
If that’s not enough to convince you to lend a hand, you should also know that cameras will be on the beach filming dedicated volunteers. Ocean Blue Project is creating a documentary about how marine debris arrives on our beaches and what to do about it once it’s there.
For more info, check out Ocean Blue Project’s website or contact OBP board member Karisa Boyce, Karisa@Oceanblueproject.org
By Ari Blatt