Oregon Marine Debris Action Plan Newsletter

Marine debris on beach.

Marine debris on the beach. (Photo Credit: Oregon SOLVE)

November 2018 Update #4

Dear colleague,

It has been a year and a half since the Oregon Marine Debris Action Plan was completed. The purpose of this newsletter, the fourth since April 2017, is to share updates on recent marine debris accomplishments in Oregon and other marine debris issues of interest.  

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this update.

Nir title and NOAA logo

Save the Date! March 2019 Oregon Marine Debris Action Plan Update Workshop

Oregon MDAP Workshop save the date.

(Photo Credit: SOLVE )

Submitted by: Nir Barnea, NOAA MDP

Save the date! The Oregon Marine Debris Action Plan is scheduled for March 12 and 13, 2019 in Newport, Oregon. The workshop will provide an opportunity for the Oregon marine debris community to share accomplishments and lessons learned, review the current Action Plan, update it, and plan for the future. Prior to the workshop, partners will provide accomplishments from the last two years which will be included in the updated Action Plan. More workshop details will be forthcoming.

Student Watershed Symposium

Students participating in the Student Watershed Symposium.

A student from Toledo Junior/Senior High School describes his project to peers. (Photo Credit: Tracy Crews, Sea Grant)

Submitted by: Cait Goodwin, Special Projects Coordinator at Oregon Sea Grant

Following five “MWEEs by the Sea” educator workshops held in January and February on the Oregon Coast, Oregon Sea Grant hosted a Student Watershed Symposium event on May 22, 2018. Sixty-eight grade 5-12 students from schools in Waldport, Toledo, Salem, and Tillamook attended the Symposium which was held at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. They brought displays to share their Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) projects and stewardship actions with peers and community. Several student projects focused on campus cleanups, beach cleanups, and public outreach activities to discourage the use of single-use plastics. This project was funded by NOAA’s B-WET program.

Columbia River Waterway Cleanup is Completed

Globe site before and after cleanup.

The Goble site before and after the cleanup process. (Photo Credit: Oregon Department of State Land)

Submitted by: Patricia Fox, Oregon Department of State Land

The waterway cleanup on the Columbia River in Goble was completed in August. Ten vessels, including the River Queen, were removed from the site. Overall, 617 tons of solid waste, 209 tons of hazardous waste, 114 tons of liquid waste, and 933 tons of recyclable steel were removed. Total cleanup costs were approximately $12 million, in part due to the derelict condition of the River Queen and the precautions needed to ensure removal of that vessel did not pollute the waterway.

The Goble site is now restored to its original condition. Throughout the cleanup process, the Department of State Lands, the Coast Guard, the Department of Environmental Quality, and Metro Regional Government worked closely and cooperatively. DSL contractors Performance Abatement Services and Global Diving & Salvage performed difficult work extremely well.

Global Diving & Salvage also created a neat project video, watch it here

$93K Awarded for Submerged Land Enhancement Projects

Submitted by: Patricia Fox, Oregon Department of State Land

The Department of State Lands has awarded $93,558 to projects that will improve state-owned submerged lands:

  • The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership was awarded $22,930.95 for a project that will remove small/medium marine debris from approximately 70 miles of shoreline between the BNSF Railroad Bridge and St. Helens.
  • Willamette Riverkeeper was awarded $25,628 for a project that will address an infestation of invasive aquatic plants at Willamette Mission State Park.
  • The City of Coquille was awarded $45,000 to help replace degraded boat ramps and docks that are vital to the city’s economy and public recreation on the Coquille River.

Funds were awarded through the state’s Submerged Lands Enhancement Fund Grant Program, which supports projects that enhance state-owned submerged and submersible land. 2018 projects will be completed by June 30, 2019. 2019 grant applications will be available in early 2019. Visit the DSL website to learn more.

Volunteers Take Care of Oregon Waterways

Clackamas River cleanup.

Cleanup along the Clackamas River. (Photo Credit: SOLVE)

Submitted by: Joy Hawkins, SOLVE 

What do a top hat, shower drain, and sled have in common? These were all items found by volunteers at the 35th annual SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup! Over 4,500 volunteers mobilized across Oregon in September, removing 24 tons of trash on the coast and along upstream rivers and streams. Part of the International Coastal Cleanup, the event was organized in partnership with coastal cities, haulers, and dozens of community partners.

While the most common items reported were plastic pieces, foam, bottle caps, and food wrappers, many volunteers also reported removing large items like tractor tires, pieces of boats, mattresses, and shopping carts.

Since May, over 300 miles of rivers have also been cleaned thanks to Oregon Adopt-a-River and Summer Waterway Cleanup volunteers. These programs were made possible by partnerships with the Oregon State Marine Board and Water Environmental Services.

COASST Training and Observer Bias Study

COASST staff and a volunteer during a pilot phase of the observer bias study.

COASST staff and a volunteer during a pilot phase of the observer bias study. (Photo Credit: NOAA)

Submitted by: Hillary Burgess, COASST and Nir Barnea, NOAA MDP 

The University of Washington’s Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) continues to host citizen science monitoring trainings in Oregon and Washington. Training sessions will take place in Lincoln City, Oregon on November 17 and in Astoria, Oregon on November 18.

In addition, COASST is collaborating with the NOAA Marine Debris Program to evaluate and identify ways to correct for observer bias in estimating debris densities using the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project shoreline monitoring protocol. Field trials are conducted on a handful of beaches across Washington State. Upon completion of the field trials, COASST will analyze the recorded data and compare the results with the known amounts and types of debris that were in each transect. Results are intended to inform refinements to protocols from both programs, with the ultimate goal of generating more robust datasets.

Oregon Shores CoastWatch Marine Debris Shoreline Survey Efforts

Data collection.

Data collection at Cape Perpetua. (Photo Credit: Fawn Custer)

Submitted by: Fawn Custer, Oregon Shores

CoastWatch has been taking the lead in setting up marine debris survey sites along the Oregon coast. In addition to the ten original sites, CoastWatch has added survey sites at Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Road’s End in the Cascade Head Marine Reserve, Coronado Shores, and Cove Beach in Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve. CoastWatch is in the process of setting up survey sites at the South Jetty in Bandon and at Cobble Beach at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area.

As the volunteer base changes, some areas have not been surveyed regularly. CoastWatch has been working to get new volunteers into position. The primary goal is to make sure all marine reserve and protected areas have regular surveys in order to aid in the public connection to these special areas.

Marine Debris Updates and Issues of Interest

Submitted by: Nir Barnea, NOAA Marine Debris Program

Annual NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest 

The annual MDP Art Contest is closing soon; entries will be accepted until November 30. All students in kindergarten to grade 8 from all U.S. states and territories- recognized public, private, and home schools are eligible to participate. Successful entries will be selected for the 2020 marine debris calendar. Visit here for more details. 

The Washington Marine Debris Action Plan is Available

The Washington Marine Debris Action Plan has been finalized, and is now available online. The process in Washington was similar to, and benefited from, the Oregon Marine Debris Action Planning that preceded it. Access the WA MDAP here

6IMDC Proceedings and Book of Abstracts

The Sixth International Marine Debris Conference proceedings and abstracts are now available. Click here to access the proceedings and here for the book of abstracts. Many thanks to all who attended, presented, and helped make the conference a great success. 

NOAA Marine Debris Program Funding Opportunities

Federal Funding Opportunities through the NOAA Marine Debris Program are posted on the Program’s Website annually during the late summer and early fall. The FY19 Marine Debris Removal federal funding opportunity opened on August 20, and closed on October 29. The FY19 Marine Debris Research federal funding opportunity is now open to new proposals and will close on December 14.