“It is incredibly important that the quality of life for Oregon Coast residents and the quality of experience for visitors are not negatively impacted by marine debris.”
Kevan Ridgeway is working on an Oregon Coast Public Art Trail that will go between Astoria and Brookings, OR, featuring art created from marine debris collected along the Oregon Coast. This art trail will not only serve as a beautiful and diverse tourist attraction, but also as a way to tell visitors the story of plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean and along the beaches of the Oregon Coast. Kevan says there is a major connection between tourism and environmentalism around the use of plastics. “This time of year, anytime you go for a walk on the beach, you will find items that visitors have discarded, plates, forks, cups, and straws. Somehow we have to educate visitors of the Oregon Coast that that is not the right thing to do. If people aren’t from the beach, they often don’t have an appreciation for it and need to learn this appreciation and to keep the beaches clean.” The desire to visit the Oregon Coast needs to be tied in with a feeling of responsibility to keep the beaches clean and to leave behind no trace as a visitor so that others can continue to experience the beauty and wonder of the Pacific Ocean and the Oregon Coast for years to come.
Keeping the Oregon beaches and the Pacific Ocean clean is so important for all who get the chance to experience them. Kevan points out that this includes visitors of the coast, who might only stay for a few hours, but also for those people who live there permanently. “It is incredibly important that the quality of life for Oregon Coast residents and the quality of experience for visitors are not negatively impacted by marine debris. We’re now seeing both tourist destinations around the world and individual companies tackle the use of plastics.”