Beach Cleanup

Report Marine Debris

Twice a year, shellfish growers join forces with local growers, state agencies and non-profit organizations to remove debris from local beaches in South Puget Sound. In March and October, a force of 100 volunteers and 20 boats scour over 100 miles of shoreline for marine debris of all types. Debris is then transported by vessel to either of the two land-based sorting stations at Arcadia Boat Launch in Shelton and National Fish and Oyster in Nisqually.

Over the last 15 years, the shellfish industry has expanded, and yet the composition of debris collected during these cleanups remains fairly constant — with debris NOT related to shellfish aquaculture making up 80% of the collection. Of the small amount of shellfish gear recovered, about half is typically returned to shellfish grower’s farms or recycled. It is one of PCSGA’s primary goals to work with our members to minimize the amount of gear escaping from farms during storm events, and cleanup gear that enters our waterways.

“The PCSGA beach cleanup is great. Awesome to see how much the industry cares about the water and continually improving practices to reduce marine debris.” – Andy Gregory, Pollution Prevention Director, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance

Keeping our beaches clean is a group effort and shellfish growers acknowledge their role in taking care of the shorelines where they farm. The cleanups are a reminder for growers to continuously maintain the integrity of gear on farms and demonstrate their commitment to protecting and preserving the ecosystem. Fees to dispose of the debris are raised at PCSGA’s annual community shellfish celebration, SLURP in Olympia.

Past Beach Cleanup Photos: