Military veterans hired for coastal cleanup

The Washington Legislature is providing funding to support hiring recently returning military veterans for beach cleanup work.

The Washington Conservation Corps has created two specialized all-veteran crews to survey the coastline and remove marine debris. The crews will also clean up backcountry areas of beaches that are difficult for volunteer crews to reach, will provide volunteer event coordination and will be available for cleanup of debris deposited on the coast from the 2011 Japan tsunami.

State funding for the all-veteran cleanup crews covers crew time, training, travel, and disposal costs.

The crews are available for free to coastal entities that are part of a coastal preservation or conservation organization.

The WCC was created in 1983 and has provided opportunities and training for more than 1,700 people, mostly young adults. The WCC also receives federal AmeriCorps funding and Washington Department of Natural Resources funding through the 2012 Jobs Now Act.

In 2011, the Washington Legislature created the Puget SoundCorps with the WCC to focus specifically on jobs for young adults and military veterans that benefit Puget Sound recovery.

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