The amount of Puget Sound shoreline that falls within Tacoma city boundaries is between 12 and 13 miles. Most of it lies to the south of Commencement Bay, but there is a smaller section on the north side of the bay as well. (These figures exclude the industrial waterways on the tide flats.)
The Tacoma Shoreline Survey was organized as a project that would transit the entire municipal shoreline, conducting surveys along the way. Surveys used a modified NOAA protocol designed for standing-stock surveys and following the count, items were collected for recycling or disposal. The survey utilized 78 volunteers and was a collaboration between the Ikkatsu Project and other area environmental organizations. A total of 669 pounds of trash was removed from beaches over the course of the day.
The results of the combined volunteer tally sheets show that the most impacted sections of shoreline were Yowkwala Beach and Marine View Drive, not unexpected based on prevailing wind and current patterns and although different survey areas yielded a variety of debris (both type and quantity), the overall view is still one that could use significant improvement.
The survey is currently being scheduled to happen again in 2019, most likely in April or May. Stay tuned for updates. If you are interested in volunteering to survey a section of shoreline, please call or email to get on the list.