Marine debris removal can be tough work, but learning you removed half a ton of rope from the beach is pretty satisfying!

The Oregon Chapters of Surfrider Foundation have had a longstanding relationship with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) to conduct immediate, high priority marine debris cleanups (called rapid response cleanups). In 2014, the rapid response cleanup program was formalized with funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

For today’s cleanup, Surfrider volunteers were needed to help OPRD Beach Ranger Ryan Parker remove a large wad of rope from the Netarts Spit in Tillamook County. Ryan had been working on this rope wad for three years and there was still a large portion left! Due to the tight working conditions and the need to use sharp knives, only three to four people were able to work at a time.

When we arrived, we could barely see the rope wad and did not realize how deep it was buried……

…but once we started digging, we realized it went quite deep.

After hours of digging, brushing the rope with a broom, and cutting, we were finally able to use the wench on the OPRD truck to start pulling up the rope.

The large chunks of rope were too heavy to lift. Luckily, the OPRD truck had a lift that we used to put the large pieces in the bed of the truck.

After approximately five hours, with the truck bed full, we headed back in. Though we removed 1,000 pounds of rope, we could not get all of it. But, the work of a marine debris volunteer is never done!

Until next time…