PORT HADLOCK, Wash. — Naval Magazine (NAVMAG) Indian Island sponsors its annual Earth Day beach clean-up April 28.
“We like to say every single day is Earth Day at Indian Island,” said Cmdr. Nick Vande Griend, NAVMAG, commander. “It is a privilege to get out and enjoy the picturesque land and sea scape of the Pacific Northwest and pick up the debris that floats up on our beach throughout the year. It is also a great opportunity to keep our environment healthy and safe for the multitudes of animal life that visit our beaches.”
Bill Kalina, NAVMAG Environmental Site Manager, will lead a group of volunteers along the shore during the clean-up.
In years past, the beach clean-up has gathered plastic, wood, metal, and plastic and glass bottles. “The most unique item we’ve found was an expensive kayak paddle,” said Sara Street, NAVMAG Natural Resource manager. “We recycle what we can and dispose of the rest. We normally walk from Crane Point to Walen Point and back.”
The haul normally fills the back of a stake bed truck to overflowing. This year, students from Port Townsend’s Blue Heron Middle School will also be at NAVMAG April 28. The eighth grade students are gathering marine science data. The students will use a beach seine net to sample marine life including fish, crabs, and other animals.
Although the students work is separate from the Earth Day clean-up, the information gathered is submitted to the North Olympic Salmon Coalition for use as baseline data in support of the Kilisut Harbor Restoration project which is currently being planned to restore the fish passage between Oak Bay and Kilisut Harbor.
“Our beach clean-up and the students’ visit just happens to take place on the same day,” said Kalina. “However, both events are important from an environmental perspective. One group cleans the beach of trash and the other gathers vital information needed for the Kilisut Harbor Restoration project. I find it fitting that both events occur during our Earth Day celebration.”