The Ecology Youth Corps (EYC) has been working for the past several months on San Juan and Orcas Islands removing litter and debris from our roads and beaches with additional cleanups planned for Lopez and Shaw Islands later in the spring. The partnership between San Juan County Public Works and the EYC is funded by the Ecology Community Litter Cleanup Program (CLCP). The EYC is Washington State's largest youth employment program. These youth earn minimum wage while gaining valuable job skills, teamwork experience, and safety awareness.
Steven Williams, Ecology Regional Administrator for Litter and Illegal Dump Cleanup & Prevention, stated, “So far this spring EYC crews have worked 126 hours in San Juan County, removing 1,035 pounds of debris from 22 miles of roadway and 50 acres of public beaches. EYC is required by the CLCP grant to complete 200 hours of work this spring in San Juan County. So, expect to see more EYC crews on our roads and beaches through at least May. Mark Herrenkohl, SJC Solid Waste Program Administrator, has hopes for expanding the litter cleanups to islands not served by the ferries, stating, “The Youth Corps program is an excellent example of state, local and community collaboration. It’s a win for all involved.”
The coordinated cleanups by the EYC crews compliments our local cleanup efforts all year by various conservation groups including the Great Island’s Cleanup event scheduled for April 23 on San Juan, Lopez, and Orcas Islands. Last year, over 400 people collected about 6,200 pounds of litter from the roadsides and beaches of the three islands. This year’s cleanup is expected to be even bigger! This year Mark Herrenkohl is leading a Public Works team for Lopez Island, stating “We are expecting a large turnout from individuals in engineering, operations, environmental resources, information services, Sheriff’s deputies and their family and friends.” On San Juan Island, David Dehlendorf is coordinating the roadside pick-ups (he can be reached at 360-378-1082 or email@example.com) and Jana Marks is coordinating the beach cleanups (she can be reached at 360-378-2319 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Pete Moe of Orcas Recycling Services (ORS) is organizing all the cleanup activities on Orcas Island (he can be reached at 376- 4089 or email@example.com). The coordinators on Lopez Island are Nikyta Palmisani for roads (468-2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org) and Nick Teague for beaches (468-3754 or email@example.com). For more information go to the ORS website http://www.exchangeorcas.org/the-great-islands-clean-up-is-april-23rd/.