South Beach Bulletin, Community beach cleanup and barbecue Saturday, July 8, 2010

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The Ocean Companies, including seafood processor Ocean Gold Seafoods, the Ocean Cold storage facility, the trucking division of Ocean Express and the Ocean Protein fishmeal plant, are joining with the Washington State Parks through Washington CoastSavers to host a beach cleanup party this Saturday, July 10th, from 8 – 11 a.m.

State Parks is supplying the refuse bags, gloves, filled bag pickup and a Dumpster. Ocean Companies will provide a barbecue lunch for participants following the cleanup.

“We are very pleased to participate in this effort,” said Dennis Rydman, president of Ocean Gold Seafoods. “Keeping our oceans clean is a part of our company mission. Maintaining a clean beach is a good step toward achieving that goal because it’s more than just our livelihood at stake with this resource. Our way of life as generational participants in the seafood industry depends upon responsible stewardship of the seas,” he added.

Volunteers needed
Many volunteers are needed to make this cleanup a success. All volunteers must register and sign a State Parks volunteer timesheet. Check in will be at the Schafer Rd. Ocean Beach Approach parking lot, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Turn west off SR105 at the Grayland “T” and proceed to the check-in site. On-site registration, orientation and instructions will be provided upon arrival.

Parking is available at both Schafer Road and Bonge Avenue. Please park only in the parking lots and not along the roads. There are restrooms available at both parking lots.

The beach cleanup is being organized not just as a one-time event but as an opportunity to build partnerships for ongoing educational and community outreach. Ocean Companies is introducing a party atmosphere with a BBQ and entertainment to entice larger participation and encourage people to learn about small things they can do to limit the amount of trash that ends up on the beach. Everything from basic recycling rules to demonstrating ways to limit use of plastics, makes a difference.

“We are please to have a partner like the Ocean Companies for this cleanup,” said Brad Staab, a ranger assigned to the Seashore Conservation Area. “It’s when diverse community interests come together that we are able to make the biggest impact reaching the most people with information that will hopefully make beach cleanups such as these less necessary in the future,” he said.

The CoastSavers organization is also very please with Ocean Companies’ participation. “If we are to enjoy a real ‘sea change’ in terms of the health of our marine environment, it is critical that seafood industry partners such as the Ocean Companies step up to the table. We are thrilled to work with them and to provide educational and scientific support for their growing sustainability efforts,” said David Lindau, program coordinator with CoastSavers.

According to Rydman, in addition to beach cleanups, the company is experimenting with tools it can use to limit its own fleet’s gear waste at sea and is in talks with NOAA to introduce a “Fisherman in the Classroom” component to existing ecological outreach at local schools.

“The introduction of the Ocean Protein fishmeal plant allows the group to fully utilize the resource, turning “trash to treashre” for markets that range from aquaculture to organic fertilizers. The company’s wastewater treatment is the only one in the industry to meet the Clean Water Act standards,” said Rydman.