Never turn your back on the ocean.

It’s the rule the crowd of 400 standing in the parking lot of Cannon Beach City Hall heard over and over as a way to keep safe during the SOLVE Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup.

It also serves as a salient metaphor for the work the nonprofit seeks to accomplish: to restore and maintain the beaches the public enjoys.

Jeneé Pearce-Mushen has been a volunteer to help organize the clean up in Cannon Beach for SOLVE for the past 10 years, and said one of her favorite aspects is being able to see parents bringing their children to help.

“This matters to everyone. It’s important to have beaches be clean and to protect them,” she said. “Twice a year we can give a little extra that we have to help our children understand why we do this.”

This year, bags were filled with various forms of disintegrated plastics and trash from Arch Cape to Ecola State Park. This effort spanned all of the Oregon Coast in 45 locations from Fort Stevens to Brookings, which resulted in the removal of 56,000 pounds of litter total.

Erin Coffin traveled with a group of her coworkers from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America from Portland as a way to give back to a community she enjoys.

“If I plan to camp on the coast all summer, I should help pick it up,” Coffin said.

Her coworker, Shay Florian, came out for similar reasons, though she had a personal, added bonus.

“It’s pretty cool to see the ocean for the first time,” she laughed.

For more information about additional volunteer opportunities, visit solveoregon.org.

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