Litter-Free by the Sea

Posted April 9, 2016 at 6:00 am by

Team Vinny's, 2015 - Contributed photo

Team Vin­ny’s, 2015 — Con­tributed photo

Mark your cal­en­dars! It’s time for the 2016 Great Islands Clean-Up… our annu­al spring-clean­ing! And again this year, both Orcas and Lopez will be join­ing San Juan in the event!

The spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion about San Juan Island’s effort is as follows:

  • When: Sat­ur­day, April 23, 9 am – noon
  • Where: All island road­sides and beaches
  • Rain or shine!

Last year on San Juan, 225 islanders col­lect­ed over 1600 pounds of lit­ter from approx­i­mate­ly 45 miles of roads and sev­er­al beach areas. And, our island real­ly did look GREAT!

But sad­ly, our refuse con­tin­ues to end up as lit­ter. Thought­less toss­ing of bot­tles, cans, food wrap­pers, or cig­a­rette butts; acci­den­tal “blow­ing away” of debris from unse­cured loads on boats and trucks; or delib­er­ate dump­ing of tires, etc., all con­tribute to the need to make lit­ter pick-up an ongo­ing effort.

Mul­ti­ple orga­ni­za­tions – includ­ing San Juan Coun­ty, the town of Fri­day Har­bor, San Juan San­i­ta­tion, island ser­vice clubs, the Cham­ber of Com­merce and Friends of the San Juans – are col­lab­o­rat­ing to spon­sor this year’s Great Islands Clean-Up, a day when all able-bod­ied islanders are encour­aged to help pick up the accu­mu­lat­ed trash so that res­i­dents and vis­i­tors alike are treat­ed to a lit­ter-free island when warmer and sun­nier weath­er beck­ons us all out­doors. The town of Fri­day Har­bor has even issued an offi­cial procla­ma­tion sup­port­ing the clean-up and encour­ag­ing every­one to help out!

On behalf of the Town of Friday Harbor, Mayor Carrie Lacher gives the official proclamation to organizer Lori Stokes - Tim Dustrude photo

On behalf of the Town of Fri­day Har­bor, May­or Car­rie Lach­er gives the offi­cial procla­ma­tion to clean-up orga­niz­er Lori Stokes — Tim Dus­trude photo

Please con­nect with your busi­ness, school, non-prof­it, ser­vice or neigh­bor­hood groups, fam­i­ly and friends and vol­un­teer to help. You can join a group that has already been formed, or you can orga­nize a group of your own!

To clean a road, con­tact David Dehlen­dorf (378‑1082 or dauf­fa [@] pri­or to April 16, or Lori Stokes (378‑4643 or loristokes3 [@] after that date; to clean a beach, con­tact Jana Marks (378‑2319 or jana [@]

Pete Moe is orga­niz­ing all the clean-up activ­i­ties on Orcas Island (376- 4089 or pete [@]

The coor­di­na­tors on Lopez Island are Niky­ta Palmisani for roads (468‑2555 or niky­tap [@] and Nick Teague for beach­es (468‑3754 or

To help this effort: FREE pick-up bags will be avail­able at the Cham­ber of Com­merce office on Spring Street the week pri­or to the event. In addi­tion, their office also has a lim­it­ed num­ber of grab­bers, gloves and safe­ty vests that par­tic­i­pants are wel­come to use.

San Juan San­i­ta­tion will be pick­ing up col­lect­ed lit­ter at the fol­low­ing loca­tions: Bonnie’s Craft Sup­plies on Spring St. across from the Fri­day Har­bor Suites; the inter­sec­tion of Roche Har­bor Rd. and West Val­ley Rd.; the inter­sec­tion of Mitchell Bay Rd. and West Side Rd.; the inter­sec­tion of Beaver­ton Val­ley Rd. and Egg Lake Rd.; the inter­sec­tion of Dou­glas Rd. and Bail­er Hill Rd.; and the park­ing area at South Beach.  Your col­lect­ed lit­ter must be at one of these loca­tions before 12:30 pm on April 23.

If you want to work on a dif­fer­ent date, you can drop off your col­lect­ed lit­ter at the trans­fer sta­tion on Sut­ton Rd. dur­ing its reg­u­lar hours – it’s FREE!  Just iden­ti­fy your­self as a litter-picker-upper.

If you are not pick­ing up lit­ter the morn­ing of April 23 but are out and about in your car, please be cau­tious and keep an eye out for the safe­ty of the clean-up crews; many of our road­sides lack shoul­ders and good sight lines.

Every­one is encour­aged to pitch-in and clean around their neigh­bor­hoods and busi­ness­es, and help us be Lit­ter-Free by the Sea! 

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