A Helping Hand on the Sand

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Julie Zeng, Editor-In-Chief

One of the benefits about being an Oregonian on the coast is having the Pacific Ocean in our backyard. Many of us tend to visit the sandy beaches for walks, gatherings, and more. Our various beach sites attract locals and tourists alike, especially when the weather is warmer. However, due to this constant movement, many individuals leave behind their own contribution of trash. 

Garbage and litter can easily be found all over the sand and it only further piles up after time. Discarded things from different parts of town are carried by the wind to the shore, so anything not properly disposed of will end up on the beach. It eventually finds its way into our ocean, resulting in dangerous situations for our marine life and pollution. Walking on the beach is both serene and alarming, because we are constantly stepping over parts of trash, ranging from microplastic bits and fishing lines to beverage containers and appliances. 

Planet Earth is our only home and it is our responsibility to take care of it in order to sustain our future. Fortunately, students from Newport High are taking the initiative to organize clean ups at our local beaches aiming to reduce trash and help our community. Sea 2 the Future says their focus is cleaning “near the bridge as a lot of trash washes in from the bay.” It is also important to be as environmentally friendly as possible when taking part. “We try very hard to minimize our use of plastic bags and gloves, so we use buckets and gardening gloves.” With their teamwork, they’ve managed to collect nearly 700 pounds of trash. Their motive is to “keep our beaches clean so people can enjoy them comfortably and marine life can live in a safe environment.” Sea 2 the Future is keen to see some new faces and have more hands on deck. Cleaning Up Newport hosts clean-ups as well, tackling the neighborhoods around the beach and hidden spots that build up a plethora of trash. This opportunity has made for memorable experiences, as the group recounts rummaging through bushes and coming across wine bottles, baby doll parts, a shattered skull, shattered glass eyes, and old clothes. When the deed is done, the members gather to eat together at Panini’s and rides are given out to ones who need it. This effort of teamwork extends into friendship and Cleaning Up Newport has a message for interested students: “Get a friend, we’ll give you gloves, and have fun. It’s really just friends hanging out, we’re just doing something more productive, get some sun!” 

The efforts of our students do not go unrecognized, as their collective desire to change our world stems from small steps. All clean-ups are Covid friendly and require distance outdoors, a great way to better our Earth while reaping the benefits of human bonds.