LONG BEACH — With its 50th beach cleanup set for this Saturday, members of the Grassroots Garbage Gang were celebrating their recent selection as Washington CoastSavers’ Group of the Year.
CoastSavers also honored Kelsie Donleycott as the 2017 Washington CoastSaver of the Year for her efforts to clean the beaches around Ozette every April and September. Washington CoastSavers is an alliance of partners and volunteers dedicated to keeping the state’s beaches clean of marine debris through coordinated cleanups, education and prevention.
The Grassroots Garbage Gang was founded by Shelly Pollock. It’s an informal alliance of locals, tourists, groups, local businesses and government agencies that pull together to clean the beach three times a year, in January, April and July. According to Magen Michaud, CoastSavers Steering Committee member who nominated the group, “There are volunteers, including groups that have adopted sections of the beach, who show up repeatedly to do their part in the organized cleanups. In addition, there are people who take garbage bags every time they go on the beach — the desire for protect our precious beach has been institutionalized!”
Jon Schmidt, Washington CoastSavers Coordinator, lived on the Long Beach Peninsula for 11 years and credits Pollock and the Grassroots Garbage Gang for turning him on to the issue of marine debris and the need for beach cleanups.
“Local participation for the cleanups around Long Beach are really special, filled with hometown pride,” Schmidt said in a press release.
Don Hoch, State Parks director recognized the contributions of all the volunteers who clean our coast saying, “Washington’s ocean beaches benefit from the many different organizations and volunteers working together to make our beaches safe and clean for all to enjoy.”
To participate in Saturday’s cleanup, head to a beach approach at 9:30 a.m. to get supplies and help with this effort to clean our 28 miles of beach. All are invited to participate. Go to ourbeach.org for more information.