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Guest Column: King Tides or Plastic Tides?

  • Written by Katie Fleming

Friday Harbor, WA:  The creatures that call these islands home need your help! If you enjoyed a stroll on the beach after the last set of king tides, you might have noticed an influx of debris and trash. During extreme high tide events, plastic waste and styrofoam float to the surface and are carried up further onto the land. 

Styrofoam Tire. Four of these have washed up on Yellow Island just this winter, and are also frequently pulled off of the beach near Point Caution on San Juan Island. Matthew Axling, Yellow Island Steward from The Nature Conservancy

If you’ve been looking for a way to give back to our beautiful shorelines, wildlife, and your island home, now is a great time to hit the beaches and help clean up the debris before it can spread and further damage marine ecosystems. Gather your friends and family, bring gloves and a trash bag, and make a day of it! Sign up today to adopt a beach or contact Jess Newley, Community Science and Education Director at Friends of the San Juans for more information: Jess@sanjuans.org  

Pro tip: All of the waste facilities in San Juan County accept beach trash for free! Email Katie Fleming, Solid Waste Coordinator, for more info: katief@sanjuanco.com.  

If you’re looking for more ways to reduce plastic use and its impacts, check out Plastic Free Salish Sea. They have many fantastic tips, toolkits, and resources, and are always looking for more stewards to help keep our islands and sea plastic free! Plastic Free Salish Sea is a partnership program with San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship and Marine Resources Committee, Friends of the San Juans, and Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District. 

More Information: https://sanjuans.org/2023/01/27/king-tides-turn-up-trash/

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