WHEELER — Pull up your boots, don your rain gear, and prepare to take out the trash — from the estuary that is. The biennial Nehalem Estuary Cleanup returns for its 10th year on Saturday, March 11.
In 2015, over 150 volunteers dedicated their time, collecting 2.37 tons of trash and 915 pounds of recyclable and reusable material from the estuary, including metal, glass, plastic and paper. Interesting finds included a mattress, a port-a-potty door, 14 railroad spikes, 105 flip flops, 350 shotgun shells and one message in a bottle.
Orientation begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Wheeler Masonic Hall at Handy Creek Bakery, located at 63 N. Highway 101, in downtown Wheeler.
Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome. Opportunities range from collecting debris, sorting materials, helping with set-up and take-down, and helping with food service.
Nehalem Bay State Park will have activities for children. Science educator Peter Walczak will also lead a youth crew, cleaning up debris along the state park jetty. Youth and family volunteers can join the 7:30 a.m. orientation in Wheeler or go directly to the boat ramp in Nehalem Bay State Park at 8:30 a.m., where there will be an orientation and educational activities.
Bring drinking water and a snack or bag lunch. This is a rain or shine event. Wear waterproof boots, work gloves and layers as needed. You can register in advance online; visit eventbrint.com and search for 10th biennial Nehalem Estuary Cleanup.
After the cleanup at 5 p.m., volunteers are invited to the White Clover Grange at 36585 Highway 53 in Nehalem for live music, a chili and cornbread feast, root beer floats, and socializing. Bring a dry change of clothes.
In addition, the Nehalem Estuary Cleanup Photo Contest invites submissions. Cleanup attendees are invited to submit photos from the day of the event to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15. The winning photographer will receive a gift certificate to a local business and be featured in press about the event.