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Earth Day Coast Cleanup seeking volunteers

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are invited to celebrate Earth Day by participating in the Washington Coast Cleanup on Saturday, April 18. More than 1,000 volunteers are expected to join the effort to make Washington's Pacific beaches safer, healthier and more beautiful by collecting and removing plastic water bottles, lost fishing gear, spent fireworks and other types of marine debris.

"Everyone is invited to be a CoastSaver by joining us on April 18 for the Washington Coast Cleanup," said David Lindau, CoastSavers program coordinator for the Washington Clean Coast Alliance. "The cleanup will span the state's entire Pacific Coast, from the long, flat beaches of the southern coast to the rugged wilderness beaches of the northern coast. It's a great way to help save our marine environment and enjoy the beach, too!"

"Marine debris is a serious threat to our coastal ecosystems. Coastal vegetation, wildlife and marine organisms are all harmed by these items and the toxins they can carry," said Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Carol Bernthal. "The work and dedication of every volunteer CoastSaver makes a critical difference in preserving the health and beauty of our coast."

Volunteers are invited to help with a wide range of tasks, from picking up debris along beaches and carrying it back to roadside dumpsters, to using a four-wheel drive vehicle to pick up filled bags. To sign up and to learn more, visit the CoastSavers Web site at www.coastsavers.org/washington.

The Washington Coast Cleanup is sponsored by the Washington Clean Coast Alliance and is the biggest annual cleanup on the Washington coast. Last year, more than 1,100 volunteers removed 22 tons of marine debris from Washington's Pacific beaches.

"The Washington Coast Cleanup is a great way to celebrate Earth Day, as well as National Park Week, which begins on April 18," said Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin. "We're very pleased to have so many diverse groups working together to combat marine debris, not only along the Olympic National Park coast but along all of the state's ocean beaches."

The Washington Clean Coast Alliance is a partnership of eight founding members including Discover Your Northwest, Grass Roots Garbage Gang, Lions Club International, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Olympic National Park, Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association, Surfrider Foundation, and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

For more information and to sign up for the Washington Coast Cleanup, visit the Washington CoastSavers Web site at www.coastsavers.org.



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