It was a busy weekend for beach ranger staff and volunteers along the Oregon Coast as yet another wave of marine debris flushed in along our shores, littering beaches with everything from common household items, floats and water bottles to larger debris such as derelict boats and skiffs. The uptick in debris was first noted a couple of weeks ago, when droves of floats and smaller items began washing ashore, particularly along the more remote stretches of coastline. This weekend 3 boats washed ashore, 2 in the Tillamook area and another near Waldport in Bayshore. Of the more interesting beach reports this weekend was that of CoastWatch Program mile adopter Ed Rossiter, who reported goats (actually they are sheep) on the south coast!
There were 12 phone calls and 63 emails this weekend from individuals to Surfrider in Oregon reporting tsunami debris or other curious beach finds, such as Ed's report of the sheep along mile 40 (it didn't appear as if the sheep spoke Japanese, likely locals, more info on that at the bottom of the page here:)). The majority of the debris we're seeing looks like a good mix of gyre junk (likely from a number of different sources) as well as a fair amount of debris likely associated with the Japan tsunami event from 2011. To get an idea of some of the different items that we're seeing, take a look at our Cape Lookout Debris Photos from a recent rapid response cleanup or read about the event here. Surfrider Foundation volunteers are organizing more rapid response cleanups throughout the month, this weekend around Cape Arago and the next along the Siltcoos stretch south of Florence. More details on those events coming soon to our event calendar. In the meantime, you can help pitch in by taking a bucket or bag with you to the beach and helping to remove some of the smaller items. Debris can be bagged above the high tide line and left where ranger staff can pick up or carry the debris back to dispose of it on your own. And, if you're concerned about radiation, well here's a little primer on that to help inform you on the latest information and where to find out more.
Pictured above is 1 of 3 sheep that often visit an offshore island near Coast Watch mile 40. The sheep aren't looking nearly as healthy as they did a few weeks ago when photographed for the CoastWatch mile by Don and Leslie Suva, local mile adopters. We heard the report come in as a "goat", but later checked into the CoastWatch mile to see these are actually sheep that frequent the area.