Oregon Governor Tom McCall (1967-1975) was one of the state’s greatest champions, instating the Bottle Bill, introducing urban growth boundaries, and creating the law that set in stone Governor Oswald West’s legacy of the public ownership of our beaches. In 1969, McCall also founded the Portland-based environmental non-profit organization Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism (SOLV). SOLV morphed into Sustaining Oregon’s Legacy by Volunteering and is now known simply as SOLVE. Its mission statement has changed a bit over the years, but the spirit remains the same: inspiring and organizing volunteers to keep our state beautiful.
One of SOLVE’s largest events, the statewide citizen beach cleanup, happened first in 1984 and has spread across the country and world. It continues to this day, and Bandon’s opportunity to participate in the form of the annual spring Bandon Beach Cleanup is coming up Saturday, March 26. Residents, visitors, and everyone who loves Bandon’s beaches are encouraged to meet at the Bandon City Park gazebo starting at 10:00 to sign up and pick up supplies and then head down to the beach. Volunteers will pick up anything that doesn’t belong on our beaches, and Oregon State Parks and Bandon Transfer and Recycling will haul off all non-plastic items. Plastics kept separate will be used by the Washed Ashore Project for their next sculpture.
Participants can also watch at the gazebo as the Washed Ashore Project makes reusable bags from old t-shirts. If you would like one of these creations, bring your own t-shirt with you on Saturday.
Volunteers should bring an old colander to use for sifting small pieces of trash out of the sand as well as a water bottle for staying hydrated. Make sure it’s a reusable bottle; much of the trash on our beaches is in the form of disposable plastic bottles, and it’s best to avoid adding more! Participants should also be sure to dress appropriately and be prepared for any kind of weather.
Oregon has a rich history of environmentalism and general care for our state. Come and be part of Governor McCall’s legacy!