Hundreds of volunteers in the South County came to Cannon Beach, Gearhart and Seaside beaches Saturday for the annual SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup, presented by the Oregon Lottery.
More than 4,600 volunteers joined for the event, which collected an estimated 72,000 pounds of trash and marine debris were collected from 140 project sites including rivers, neighborhoods, parks, historic cemeteries, and other natural areas across the state.
According to SOLVE, cleanups took place along all 362 miles of the Oregon Coast.
In addition to removing litter, invasive, non-native plants were cleared from 2.5 acres of natural area.
In Seaside, SOLVE and the Seaside Lions met at the Turnaround at 10 a.m. and continued efforts through the early afternoon.
In Cannon Beach, volunteers joined SOLVE and Pacific Alarms Systems for the cleanup.
In Gearhart, cleanup teams went to Del Ray Beach in Gearhart. Among items salvaged was a car exhaust pipe, SOLVE reported.
The most common items found during the event were tiny bits of plastic, cigarette butts, fishing rope, glass bottles and plastic bottles. Items found by volunteers included a door and $20 at the Salmon Headwaters Cleanup at Timberline, 20 large Styrofoam blocks in the Multmomah Channel and two bikes along Bear Creek Greenway in Medford.
SOLVE was originally about stopping litter, but as the years have passed, their mission has focused in on how volunteers can make a difference with the environment and build a legacy of stewardship, Quintin Bauer, program director of volunteers, told members of the Seaside Downtown Development Association this spring.
“We want to bring people together and we want to improve the environment,” Bauer said. “We want to get to the heart of this and stop people from leaving their trash on the beach.”