A Look in the Mirror

TSS – First Report

May 16, 2019 Comments (0) journal


The 2019 Tacoma Shoreline Survey is just a few days away. The weather is trending drier and warmer, not nearly as hot as it was last weekend but still, real comfortable. I think Saturday is going to be a great day for a walk on the beach.

Thanks to all who have registered… I look forward to seeing you tomorrow evening at Round Table. (Those pizzas aren’t going to eat themselves, amirite?)

Before we all get out to wherever we’re headed on Saturday, I just wanted to go over the goals of the survey one last time, to make sure we’re all on the same page.

  • Data. We are hoping to get as accurate a count as possible of what is out there. The numbers and details that we get are immediately exported to the NOAA database and are then available for research use. On a more local note, a good debris count can be used to pinpoint sources of beach garbage, as well as to prioritize future beach cleanups.
  • Debris removal. After it’s been counted and catagorized, it gets picked up. Whatever “it” is, we are asking that volunteers bring the debris they collect to our Survey HQ next to the Les Davis pier on Ruston Way. We’ll weigh it and separate out any recyclable items, then throw what is left into the dumpster that will be on-site. Last year’s Tacoma Shoreline Survey resulted in almost 700 pounds of garbage getting picked up… it will be interesting to see what happens this year.
  • It’s personal. As necessary as data collection is, and as rewarding as it is to help clean a beach, the most important goal of this survey is to help form real connections between people and places. Our shoreline is such a big part of what we value most about this place we live, and it is opportunities like this Saturday that keep us connected to it. It could be that what we get from this effort will go beyond data and garbage removal, to a chance to renew our personal bond with this amazing natural world and our essential part in it. That would be, in my opinion, the best thing that could happen.