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March 11, 2019: RE Sources, Port of Bellingham host beach cleanup for World Water Day

posted Apr 8, 2019, 12:36 PM by Simon Bakke   [ updated Apr 8, 2019, 12:36 PM ]
Friday, March 22: Volunteers will pick up trash near Squalicum Beach on international holiday, raising awareness about plastic pollution and inequality in access to clean water.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — In celebration of World Water Day on Friday, March 22, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities and the Port of Bellingham, along with Northwest Straits Surfrider chapter, are hosting a trash and marine debris cleanup south of Squalicum Beach in Bellingham from 12:00-1:00 PM.

Volunteers can park at the Squalicum Beach Park Parking on Seaview Ave. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged.

“World Water Day is a time for communities to reflect on how we can improve the health of the waterways we all rely on,” said Eleanor Hines, North Sound Baykeeper at RE Sources. “Water in the Salish Sea is threatened by plastic pollution, but we can stem the flow of plastic one stretch of shoreline at a time.”

The cleanup takes place by a breakwater that tends to accumulate lots of marine debris, including plastic waste, which is a major topic in Washington’s state legislature this year. Bills to eliminate single-use plastic shopping bags, responsibly manage plastic packaging, and more are on its docket in the coming weeks.

“Tackling an issue on the scale of marine debris takes local residents, agencies, and advocacy groups picking up the pieces together. We hope this is the first of many cleanups the Port partners on with RE Sources,” said Port Environmental Planner Kurt Baumgarten.

Plastic pollution is a global problem for water quality and wildlife, and has even been found in drinking water and table salt worldwide. According to the UN, people use 5 trillion single-use plastic bags worldwide each year.

This year, World Water Day’s theme is “Leaving No One Behind,” in recognition of the fact that many people are excluded from access to clean water, especially marginalized groups worldwide – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, and more. To learn more about World Water Day, visit

For details and to RSVP, visit Cleanup equipment, snacks, coffee and tea will be provided. Please wear shoes suitable for walking on uneven surfaces.

Media contacts:
Eleanor Hines, North Sound Baykeeper,, (360) 733-8307 ext. 213 Kurt Baumgarten, Port of Bellingham Environmental Planner,, (360) 676-2500 Natalie Lord, NWS Surfrider Volunteer Coordinator,

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RE Sources for Sustainable Communities is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the health of Northwest Washington’s people and ecosystems through the application of science, education, advocacy, and action. For more information, visit

The Port of Bellingham was established in 1920. Throughout Whatcom County, the Port owns, operates and maintains approximately 1600 acres of property including a shipping terminal, a cruise terminal, two marinas, industrial development areas, commercial uplands, parklands, shoreline public access areas and an international airport. For more information, visit

The Northwest Straits is the local Bellingham chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, an international non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the world's oceans, waves, and beaches for all people. For more information, visit