Pacific Ocean | Ecotrope

Snapshot: How green are Oregon's oceans?

Ecotrope | Nov. 28, 2011 2:02 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:33 p.m.

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All the green garbage I collected on a half-mile stretch of Clatsop Beach this weekend.

All the green garbage I collected on a half-mile stretch of Clatsop Beach this weekend.

I was on the coast for Thanksgiving and took a walk along the Clatsop Beach south of the Peter Iredale. At some point on the way back to the car I started collecting all the green garbage I saw on the beach. Little did I know what a pile I would collect!

Among the pile, in case you can’t tell what all is there: A toothbrush, tampon applicator, two butane lighters, fishing net pieces, fishing lures, plastic bottle caps, bottles and numerous unidentifiable plastic chunks.

It has been stormy, which means there’s more washed-up trash than normal. We saw lots of little bitty plastic bits in the sand, though I read recently that the ocean is full of even smaller micro-plastics from materials used in clothing like polyester, acrylic and fleece. As Scientific American recently reported:

“Such microplastic litters shorelines like grains of sand, floats in the open ocean and even sinks down to the deep sea. And sampling the microplastic on shorelines reveals that most of it comes from sewage.”

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