4,373 pounds of debris picked up

The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies completed its 28th year of the Kachemak Bay CoastWalk citizen monitoring program and we want to thank the 552 volunteers who removed 4,373 pounds of debris from 70 miles of Kachemak Bay coastline this fall.
Many individuals contributed to this effort as well as local Girl Scouts, HoWL, West Homer, McNeil Canyon and Fireweed elementary schools, Homer and Mears Middle Schools, and students from the Kenai Peninsula College.
For the third year in a row the top three items found were Styrofoam pieces, plastic pieces and cigarette filters. The majority of debris in Kachemak Bay is generated locally, with the occasional item wandering in from Cook Inlet. Although we found few pieces of debris generated by the Japan Tsunami of 2011 this year, it is likely more are on the way, and we will continue to work with volunteers to monitor the beaches.
Thanks also to all of the volunteers and businesses who have contributed to our Washed Ashore: Homer Project, helping us to work toward achieving our goal of keeping 100 percent of the non-toxic marine debris collected this year out of the landfill. More than 1,000 volunteer hours were spent cleaning, processing and creating art from the marine debris collected.
Thanks so much to our local supporters: Petro Marine Services, Icicle Seafoods, Kachemak Bay Gear Shed, Moose Run Metalsmiths, The Dickerson Family, Wynn Levitt, Mako’s Water Taxi, and Red Mountain Marine and to those contributing from afar: Humpy’s Alehouse, Alaskan Women’s Environmental Network, Gulf of Alaska Keeper and the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.
The workshop will be open throughout the winter and for much of next year, please call the CACS office to find out when you can drop by and be a part of this great project.
Patrick Chandler
Special programs coordinator
Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies