Dirty Beaches

Thanks to Alice, COASSTer from Puget Sound for bringing our attention to this article from the Seattle Times, “Dirty beaches make sick oceans, says group.”

Just like COASSTers photographing items for the marine debris project, the Ocean Conservancy coastal clean up volunteers found an assortment of odd items (mattresses, candles, toothbrushes) in addition to the common ones (cigarette butts, wrappers, beverage bottles and plastic bags). What about plastic pieces, or Styrofoam? COASSTers see a LOT of this debris on North Pacific beaches, something we’re included in the photo database and hope to link to wildlife harm.

Styrofoam pieces this size (and smaller) show up regularly on COASST beaches – this one photographed by Kathy, Ocean City beach (WA).

What’s the best step towards decreasing marine debris? Nicholas Mallos, from the Ocean Conservancy, remarks that picking up trash is not the only answer: avoiding single-use consumer products and opting for reusable water bottles, mugs and shopping bags, slows the pipeline of debris entering our oceans.


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