Over the course of 2 years of cleaning up hundreds of pounds of rusty nails at Nye and Agate Beach, left behind from beach bonfires where pallets are popularly burned, the Newport Chapter of Surfrider Foundation and their Newport High School club decided to initiate greater effort towards stopping this dangerous beach litter problem at its source. The youth volunteers thought that a great way to raise awareness would be to initiate an De-Nailing Nye Beach Awareness project, through Surfrider’s QUAD program.
The idea was simple, if people could see what they were leaving behind, they’d be more conscious of what they were burning on the beaches. The volunteers pulled together several cleanups, targeting nails with construction magnets at beaches where the problems persisted. They then utilized the nails from the cleanup to create a sculpture to help people better visualize what was happening to the pallets they were burning on beaches.
Over the course of the year, Surfrider staff became well positioned to work on policy for the issue, securing a seat on the Advisory Committee for upcoming Div. 21 rule changes for ocean shores which included rules in regards to beach fires. The Coos Bay chapter also joined in, inspired by the volunteers in Newport to initate their own “de-nailing cleanups” at Bastendorff Beach. Between the youth awareness from the cleanups, de-nailing project and the positioning on the advisory committee, rules were revised to eliminate pallets, construction debris and other problem materials and officially approved by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission on July 17, 2013. Including the rule changes to Division 21, the volunteers were able to get a joint press release with Surfrider and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, officially recognizing the efforts of the youth volunteers, raising awareness of the rule changes and explaining the installation of new fire regulation signs at parks.
Press image links: Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3