OFPA volunteers hosted their third cleanup event with Haahuupayak Schools’ Grade 6/7 class directed by teacher Tammi Greenwood on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. While the last event occurred around the school, this event focused on plastics on Somass Estuary beaches.
City worker Trevor Lepine treated the students to a tour of the new wastewater plant and Marine Biologist Amber Stroeder discussed the myriad of influences on the estuary, hence on salmon and the whole web of life.
One student noted while sorting found debris, that compared with the last time they participated in a cleanup with OFPA at the estuary, there were fewer plastic tampon holders. As the new wastewater system filters these out, there are fewer items of this size entering the inlet. Great news for all life forms!!
OFPA volunteers noted there was also less large styrofoam and that the most abundant plastic form coming out of the inlet currently is plastic wrap. It’s great to see improvement, but we’ve got a ways to go!
Watch for this: The end of October, Saturday, Oct. 28 from 12-2p.m. will see our last cleanup event of 2023 with a “Crabby Hats” Day at Blair Park on Kitsuksis Walkway. Families or individuals who volunteer for walkway cleanup are invited to create very grouchy looking paper crab hats with “Plastics Make Us Crabby” printed on the brim. All supplies are provided. Other community members will be focusing valley-wide on their own debris pickup. To volunteer for the community-wide portion of the cleanup, please email Jim Wright at
To the students and staff at Haahuupayak School, OFPA offers a profound: ” ʔuušč ’ akšiƛʔic ” (Thank you.)