Tacoma Shoreline Survey


The amount of Puget Sound shoreline that falls within Tacoma city boundaries is just a little less than 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. (This survey excludes the industrial waterways on the tide flats.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Tacoma Shoreline Survey was organized as a project that would transit the entire municipal shoreline, with surveys conducted along the way to give a better idea of how much stuff is out there. Surveys used a modified NOAA protocol designed for standing-stock surveys and following the count, items were collected for recycling or disposal. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The results of the combined volunteer tally sheets for both surveys so far show that the most impacted sections of shoreline were Yowkwala Beach and Marine View Drive, not unexpected based on prevailing wind and current patterns. Although different survey areas yielded a variety of debris (both type and quantity), the overall assessment certainly leaves ample room for improvement. The updated volunteer tally numbers are linked below for both years.

The survey is currently being scheduled to happen again in 2020, 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.

Nov. 10, 2018
This was the first survey, utilizing 78 volunteers and set the stage for future collaborations 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.

May 18, 2019
One day, 138 volunteers, 3 other collaborating organizations and 1,057 pounds of debris removed from Tacoma beaches.