The first day of fall was the last day for a lot of trash to be on Burien’s Seahurst Park Beach – more than 100 pounds were removed during the International Coastal Cleanup by 66 folks who were happy to spend their recent Saturday afternoon picking up after others.

Each fall the Environmental Science Center is sponsored by the City of Burien to coordinate the event, which is the largest worldwide volunteer project in service to our ocean and is organized by the Ocean Conservancy.

Friends and neighbors removed heavy tires and treated wood on Sept. 21, but the small items really added up, including varieties of plastic particles and cigarette butts, which also contain plastic and chemicals. Cleanup crews tracked what they collected and most used the Ocean Conservancy’s mobile app, Ocean Swell, which can be used daily to report the removal of marine debris. Puget Soundkeeper is the regional coordinator for cleanups that occur within the Puget Sound basin and will develop another annual report on what litter was found.

The beach at Seahurst is known for its low-tide treasure trove of invertebrates, such as sea stars, sea anemones, moon snails and sand dollars. The removal of wrappers and plastics helps reduce the negative impacts on these creatures in their plankton or adult forms. The phrase “trash is the only thing you can take from the beach” is a common saying in the park to ensure that shells, rocks and animals stay put to become homes for barnacles, crabs and their comrades.

Seahurst is also the site of one of the largest restoration projects in Puget Sound. More than 25% of Puget Sound’s natural shoreline is armored by retaining structures (seawalls, bulkheads and revetments) that cause harm to aquatic systems. An 1,800-foot seawall was fully removed from the park in 2014 to restore the balance between the land and water and the species within them.

Restoring Seahurst Park session will be Thursday, Oct. 10
On Thursday, Oct. 10, researchers from the University of Washington will share findings on studies they have conducted in Seahurst since before the wall’s installation, along with some current projects and findings in the Environmental Science Center’s Protecting Our Lecture Series at the Burien Community Center. Learn if, or how things have improved, what projects are occurring at the Marine Tech Lab and how the new Green City Partnership in Burien will help improve the park, along with other local community service opportunities.

For more details on topics and speakers please visit EnvironmentalScienceCenter.org or call 206-248-4266.

WHAT: Protecting Our Watershed Series:Restoring Seahurst Park session

WHEN:  Thursday, Oct. 10, 6 – 7:30 p.m. (5:30 doors open with refreshments).

WHERE:  Burien Community Center – 14700 6th Ave. SW Burien, WA

Below are some photos courtesy ESC: