The Great Islands Clean-up is back in person! Come join your fellow islanders for the 2022 Spring Great Islands Clean-up on Saturday, April 23, 2022 between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
This year’s theme, All Hands on Deck, celebrates our collaborative efforts as a community to keep our oceans and roads litter free. During this event, participants of all ages can sign-up to collect trash on a designated beach or road, and then bring your trash to a central meeting spot to be counted. Visit plasticfreesalishsea.org/events or the Great Islands Clean-Up Facebook page (facebook.com/TheGreatIslandsCleanUp) for island-specific details. There will be events on Shaw, Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Islands.
“Plastic pollution in our oceans is having a devastating impact on marine life and human health. The Great Islands Clean-up is a good opportunity for our community to join together and address this global issue,” says Katie Fleming, San Juan County’s Solid Waste Coordinator. “Every little bit helps – hundreds of volunteers collect thousands of pounds of trash during this bi-annual event in the islands each spring and fall.”
In addition to initiatives aimed at keeping our beaches clean and free of plastics and other waste, San Juan County will be spearheading a countywide campaign to “Secure Your Load for Safer Roads” in May. The Secure Your Load campaign will focus on educating residents and visitors on the importance of securing items in or on your vehicle to keep them from becoming road or beach waste, and will share tips for securing your load.
“The Great Islands Clean-up is one of the reasons this initiative came about,” says Executive Director, Pete Moe of ORS/The Exchange. “Some of our volunteers were noticing high volumes of litter resulting from flyaway items off of vehicles. Many people may not even be aware of the rules and fines resulting from not securing your load, as well as the safety issues.”
The current penalties and fines for not properly securing your load in San Juan County range from a gross misdemeanor to $553.00, depending on the offense. Each island transfer station has varying fees for vehicles disposing of trash that has not been secured properly.
The Great Islands Clean-up has been happening in the San Juan Islands since 2011. We look forward to seeing community members and visitors alike at this annual event. Tag your clean-up adventures on Facebook and Instagram with #GICU2022 or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.