Treasure Hunt for Those Who’ve Lost Their Marbles Collects Trash, Cleaning Local Beach

Press release from the Worlds Biggest Marble Hunt:

Marble with reflection

Photo of Ashley
Disney, the winner of Grand Prize Marble made by Bryan Clark. [Photo by Sherry Abbott]

Humboldt County has one of the largest communities of marble hunters in the United States with several groups dedicated to organizing hunts for handmade marbles and posting clues for their members on Facebook. This Labor Day weekend, local marble hunter Chris Damiani and local marble maker Topher Reynolds harnessed this community’s love for treasure hunting into a unique hunt to benefit the environment.

Every year, over 1 billion pounds of trash enters the ocean, killing wildlife who ingest or get entangled in it,” read Chris Damiani’s teaser post on the World’s Biggest Marble Hunt Facebook page. “Particularly insidious are small pieces of plastic which, once they enter the ocean, do not degrade and are almost impossible to remove. Since marble hunters are the best at spotting small objects that don’t belong in nature, Topher Reynolds and I challenge the Humboldt marble community to join us on one of our Humboldt County beaches, to pick up trash before it enters the ocean. To sweeten the pot, some trash will contain tokens that can be redeemed for marble prizes!”


Statement by Chris DamianiSo, on Sunday Morning on Labor Day weekend, members of the marble hunting community came together to clean a 3 mile stretch of beach at Table Bluff. Each person who came to event received a trash bag and picked up trash for one hour. 22 lucky hunters who found clay tokens in their pieces of trash received handmade marbles and marble holders donated by artists and hunters.

Marble Prizes donated by Local Artists and Glassblowers were awarded to participants in the Beach Cleanup

Marble Prizes donated by Local artists and glassblowers were awarded to participants in the Beach Cleanup. [Photo by Chris Damianio]

In addition,each participant who brought back trash was able to enter their name into a drawing to win prizes. Ashley Disney won the Grand Prize marble, a large gold and silver fumed glass fire starter marble made by marble Artist Bryan Clark. Richie Alvarez won the kids’ drawing for a unique glass octopus holding a sparkling blue marble made by Ryan Nicholas Shiel. Levi Logan won a marble made by Andrew Hanwright for bringing back the “most interesting piece of trash”, with runner ups Ashley Disney and Laurie Lynch receiving marbles made by Topher Reynolds.

After the prizes were distributed there was a fantastic afternoon potluck lunch and beach barbeque. Many hunters ended up going up and down the beach to keep picking up trash and also to continue the fun of marble hiding and hunting.

Photo of Laurie Lynch, who is the winner for the most ironic piece of trash found on the beach. Volunteer sign up forms for the Friends of the Dunes.

Laurie Lynch holding the prize for the most ironic piece of trash in one hand and the trash she found that won her the prize in the other–Volunteer sign up forms for the Friends of the Dunes. [Photo by Chris Damiani]

It was fantastic day for everyone who participated to get together to meet each to make the beach at south spit a better place for people to enjoy and for wildlife to thrive. The group collected and removed a rather large quantity of trash, from large pipes to a couple syringes. Since the Humboldt beach clean-up hunt was followed on Facebook by marble hunters worldwide, it has inspired others to use marble hunting as a fun way to clean up the environment. There are already plans to organize a similar hunt in Oregon.

If you are interested in joining in the fun of marble hunting, be sure to check out the many groups on Facebook! The groups include The World’s Biggest Marble Hunt, Humboldt Magical Glass Adventure, Humboldt Heaters Hiders and Hunters, Westcoast Glass Madness and Eureka to Trinidad Marbles.

The end of the Race to Clean the Beach where everyone gathers to hear the results of the drawing. And competition. Photo Credit: Tracy Goslin

The end of the Race to Clean the Beach where everyone
gathers to hear the results of the drawing and competition.
[Photo by Tracy Goslin]

Drawing Prizewinners:

  • Ashley A Disney: winner of the drawing for the Bryan Clark firestarter
  • Richie Alvarez: winner of the drawing for the Ryan Nicholas Shiel octopus marble holder
  • Levi Logan: winner of the prize for “most interesting piece of trash” – a drift card that made its way to Humboldt from Port Angeles, Washington!
  • Ashley A Disney: runner up prize for “most interesting piece of trash” – a silver and turquoise bracelet
  • Laurie Lynch: winner of the prize for “most ironic piece of trash” – a folder of Friends of the Dunes volunteer forms.

Marble Artists: Prizes

  • Rich Alvarez
  • David Carlson
  • Bryan Clark
  • Doug Ferguson
  • Andrew Hanwright
  • Ember Mitnik-sernovitz
  • Topher Reynolds
  • Willo Sernovitz
  • Ryan Nicholas Shiel
  • Alyssa Steele
  • Tara Roberts
  • Ginger Livingston Sanders
  • John Joseph Vanlandingham

Marble Donors

I want to extend a big thank you for everyone who donated prizes. It was really heartwarming to see hunters show up with other treasures to share with everyone…”

-Chris Damiani

  • Rich Alvarez
  • Chris Damiani
  • David Carlson
  • Bryan Clark
  • Ashley A Disney
  • Andrew Hanwright
  • Ember Mitnik-sernovitz
  • Topher Reynolds
  • Willo Sernovitz
  • Kim Trett
  • Michelle Russo
  • Sara Schubert!
    The end of the day group photo with all of the participants and trash collected. All Trash was properly disposed at the end of day. Photo Credit: Chris Damiani

    Group photo with all of the participants and trash collected. All garbage collected was properly disposed at the end of day. [Photo by Chris Damiani]



  • Would be nice if they mentioned things like this somewhere other than facebook, so us non-addicts knew what was happening.

  • One of the best clean up activities ever. I too wish I had known about it beforehand.

  • Is there any other way to participate than via fb? I’m trying to starve the beast.

  • Looks like most of the winners were the actual marble makers. What?

  • The title led me to believe this had something to do with a mental health fundraiser.

  • Was this publicized?

    • Thank you for the write up !

      We use FaceBook groups for the marble hides so that we can keep track of who has hidden and then found the marbles as well as maintain the rules. Without the FB groups it would just be people hiding with no chance of follow up to know if the marble was ever found. Humboldt has grown a large community of hider and hunters who now know each other and have become friends through the activity and groups.

      The good news is that the groups are free and open for anyone to join !

      If you are interested in participating you can join the following groups:

      World Biggest Marble Hunt

      Humboldt Heaters Hiders and Hiders

      Humboldt Magical Glass Adventure

      Eureka to Trinidad Marbles

  • What a wonderful way to combine a fun day and environmentalism (a word too often used as derisive).
    Keeping our garbage out of the oceans is vital to our survival. Our garbage is killing marine organisms (among others) at an alarming rate. If everyone could limit their plastic use whenever possible, that would reduce the amount that ends up on beaches.

  • These type of events can be found on Facebook; the group name is World’s Biggest Marble Hunt. And as far as I know that’s the only type of advertising being used.

  • Just so that you all know…..
    This was 1, I repeat 1 hour of trash collecting, on a 3 mile section, oceanside only, of the South Jetty.
    Want to do something fun…grab a few friends, some hot dogs, sticks a some trash bags and head out.
    Build a bonfire, roast your weenies,
    and make yourself and the beaches so much better. You never know what you will find, there were some pretty cool and interesting things out there.

  • Thanks for mentioning my marble group – to find it on facebook look for

    HUMBOLDT Heaters Hiders & Hunters


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