People of Ketchikan
Volunteers Cleanup Black Sands
Story & Photos
by Chris Wilhelm
May 09, 2005
Ketchikan, Alaska - Twenty-four people and Molly the dog came
out on Mother's Day Sunday for the annual Black Sands beach cleanup.
Transportation for the crew was provided by Gigi Pilcher's Awesome
Adventures of Alaska aboard the M/V Mayflower Star. The weather
was spectacular, reaching 70 degrees and with no wind the afternoon
became a memorable one. Over twenty bags of beach trash, several
automobile tires with rims, and even a plastic fish tote were
hauled off the beach.
One highlight of the trip was on the way out. At Pilcher's direction,
Captain Don DeVore steered the Mayflower Star through the shallows
of Walden Rocks for a little sightseeing. A half dozen seals
came out to investigate our progress and captivate the crew.
One put on a show of his own, thrusting himself out of the water
in a breaching action that perhaps only the seal females could
properly interpret. After seeing such an enthusiastic display,
one volunteer's remark on the calm waters of Nichols Passage
The bowlander design of the
Mayflower Star allows the pilot to land directly on the beach
and remotely lower the landing ramp. Once ashore, all volunteers
grabbed yellow bags and fanned out. Though plastics are specifically
forbidden to toss in the marine environment by federal law, most
of the items found were of plastic construction. Many water and
soda bottles, oil quart containers, and similar trash were recovered.
A great deal of fishing line and net was found, as well as pieces
of styrofoam floatation and net floats.
After about two hours of cleaning,
the bags were all stacked together and a nice lunch was had.
Volunteers included Melva and Harry Olson, Heidi De Young, Brendan
Davis, Joey McKee, Susie McKee, Vicki McKee, Jessica Reveri,
Charlotte Tanner, MJ Turek, Donald DeVorg, Steve Oyler, Esme
Brundyn, Bobbie McCreary, Susan Walsh, Chris Wilhelm, Gretchen
Wilhelm, Matthew Wilhelm, Steven Alvarez, Joey Prows, Emily Moore,
and Mayflower Star owner Gigi Pilcher, who donated the boat time
for this worthy cleanup of Black Sands Beach.
Thank you to everyone who helped
start the summer with cleanup. Ketchikan, your beaches await
Captain Don DeVore
and Gigi Pilcher of the Mayflower Star
Trash collected at
Black Sands beach...
Volunteers load trash
collected for proper disposal...
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