Once again, Portland Lutheran School brought sunshine, energy and enthusiasm to Beaver Creek today. Students started their morning off collecting a substantial amount of litter from the banks of Beaver Creek, collecting over 10 large bags. This effort stopped litter in its tracks, preventing it from flowing downstream to the Sandy River then the Columbia River and eventually to the Pacific Ocean. Some students also saw two beaver out and about probably repairing a damaged dam from recent flooding!
As students sorted their litter findings they made a discovery – an overwhelming amount consisted of plastics! Plastics are a real problem for wildlife at Beaver Creek, including our resident beaver family. Birds and other wildlife mistake cigarette butts, bottle caps, and small plastic pieces for food that they are unable to digest, causing them to feel full when in fact they could be malnourished.
From the Surfrider Foundation:
Rain or overwatering flushes plastic litter through a storm drain system or directly to creeks, streams and rivers that lead to the ocean. After plastics enter the marine environment they slowly photodegrade into smaller pieces that marine life can mistake for food, sometimes with fatal results. Ocean gyres concentrate plastic pollution in five main areas of the world’s ocean and various research groups are bringing back alarming data documenting plastics impacts.
Find out some ways you can rise above plastics here.
Students didn’t stop there! Then they created some works of art by cutting up litter into small pieces and glueing them to a canvas. Lastly, students removed blackberry and planted 50 native trees and shrubs!
Thank you Portland Lutheran! Our two new beaver friends really appreciate you helping out their home!