Monday, August 15, 2016

Sea Turtle Olympics!

August 15, 2016

WB has had 15 sea turtle nests thus far this year; and we have been on the beach almost every night for the past month.  We are preparing nest sites, sitting with nests, running in between nests, excavating nests and we still have more to go!  If we are not on the the beach at night, we are calling or texting fellow volunteers, worried that we should be on the beach!

WE ARE HAVING SEA TURTLE OLYMPICS PEOPLE because there is no time to watch the games that are happening in Rio if you are a WBSTP volunteer!!!!  :-)

So, I am putting two weeks worth of trash in today's blog.

Here is the tally for two weeks:

19 cig butts
57 food wrappers
18 plastic bottle caps
5 metal bottle caps
11 straws
3 plastic cutlery
2 foam pieces
1 piece of sea glass

5 plastic pieces
7 plastic bottles
10 glass bottles (corona beer bottles buried in the sand, unearthed by John)
2 aluminum cans
5 plastic bags
6 paper cups
5 plastic cups
2 reusable plastic cups
Love that you are using "reusable", but when left on the beach, it is still litter.

3 foam cups
22 pieces of packaging
2 zip ties
1 condom package
9 articles of clothing
2 towels
30 toys
21 pieces of paper
2 bandaids
1 surf wax
1 hair tie
3 wet ones
1 dryer sheet

Let the Games Continue!

Peace and Clean Oceans,

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Inspired by the Sea

August 1, 2016

I wonder how many of you have felt inspired by the ocean.  If so, what were you inspired to do, be, think, say, sing, dance, play, love?

The ocean is alive and powerful and peaceful and angry and dark and light and beautiful and ominous.  It whispers and it shouts.  Yet, she is vulnerable and needs protection. I am inspired to help protect her.

So, every Monday morning from May 15 to August 31, I set out to search for sea turtle tracks and to then clean the beach.

During our walk today, we saw friends, who also cleaned the beach and helped add to our bags. "Many hands make light work".  Our friends were inspired to help.

Here is what we collected today:

14 cig butts
2 cigars
1 plastic cigar tip
2 cigarette packaging materials
58 food wrappers
11 plastic bottle caps
13 various plastic lids
21 straws (1 of which was paper)
8 pieces of cutlery (2 unopened packs complete with salt, pepper, napkin all in a plastic sleeve)

1 long piece of rope
1 piece of painter's tape
11 pieces of fireworks
5 random foam pieces
4 random plastic pieces
3 plastic beverage bottles
1 glass beer bottle
7 aluminum cans
1 grocery bag
7 other types of plastic bags
(I can think of several other warnings that could be printed on this bag including danger to the environment and wildlife.)

5 foam cups
28 pieces of packaging materials, both foam and plastic
1 reusable plastic bottle with lid
3 zip ties
1 fabric Velcro strap
1 tampon-----yuck yuck yuck (found behind a dune line???)
3 shoes
12 toys or toy pieces
25 pieces of paper including napkins and receipts and 1 WBSTP postcard  :-(
3 hair ties
1 hair bow
1 pair of swim goggles
1 pair of cheap sunglasses
1 nylon bag of metal tent stakes
1 band aid
3 wet ones

I also collected one artist paint brush.  I find this interesting as this is the third artist paint related item that I have collected this year.  I have never found these types of items in the years past.
I question why  I am finding these items this year; the year I made a "resolution" to take art classes and have enrolled in such?  Maybe it is just a coincidence; but Ocean, I am inspired!

Peace and Clean Oceans,

Monday, July 25, 2016

Beach Lesson

July 25, 2016

Wrightsville Beach now has 15 sea turtle nests!!! Wowza!  I am predicting 20.  Our record was 16 nests in 1999.

Volunteers have been on the beach making sure everything is going swimmingly for our nests and I have to tell you that WB is busy this week!  I'm thinking this must be a prime time for everyone to get their beach holiday in before the kiddos head back to school.

Speaking of school, how about a lesson?  Please don't leave ANYTHING on the beach except for your footprints.

I pick up trash every time I am at the beach monitoring nests.  It is insane.  So far at nest #1, I have collected 20 toys, 3 food wrappers, 2 foam plates, 2 shoes, 2 grocery bags, 4 plastic bottles, 2 plastic cups, and 1 boogie board.  This was all found in the dark and mostly in the tide line which means it would have all been washed away by the morning to be eaten by the sea and her inhabitants.

Do you love the ocean?  (I'm assuming you do because you spent all day there.)  Then be active with your love and help keep her free from trash.  

Thank you.

Part of the items found left on the beach during nest sitting activities.
So….on to today, my normal nest monitoring beach walk.  John and I were greeted by the heat and noseeums.  This prevented me from going up to the dune lines to collect all of the trash like I normally do, but we still removed our fair share.

We also ran into Nicole, who was monitoring zone 3 (includes Johnnie Mercer Pier).  Nicole had a full bag of garbage too.  I wish I had taken her photo, but I was so happy to chat with her that the phone stayed in my pocket.  It is always fun to talk to sea turtle peeps!

Here is what was in our bags today:

10 cigarette butts
41 food packaging
13 plastic bottle caps
3 metal caps
3 plastic lids
11 straws, (7 of which were paper)
1 plastic spoon
1 wooden spoon
1 piece of painters tape
6 pieces of fireworks
8 plastic bottles
2 glass bottles
1 aluminum can

1 Ziploc bag
2 plastic cups
16 pieces of various packaging (foam, plastic, paper tags)
1 other plastic bottle (not sure what it was)
1 plastic zip tie
1 tobacco packaging
4 articles of clothing
13 toys or toy pieces
2 hair ties
1 cotton ball
8 pieces of paper
4 wet ones
1 band aid
2 fabric chair straps

3 plastic mesh bags that package toys

Peace and Clean Oceans,

Sunday, July 24, 2016

UMO at Wilmington join with others to clean WB.

KIC has been so happy to have University of Mount Olive at Wilmington join our forces to help clean the beach and other areas around Wilmington.  Under the leadership of Shea Lenkaitis, staff at UMO have been busy cleaning the beach and the cross city trail.  

Over the weekend, UMO joined with Atlantic Biotechnology to clean the north end of Wrightsville Beach.  Below in green is the blog post written by Shea of their experience on July 17, 2016:

We did a beach cleanup Sunday evening on the North end of Wrightsville Beach and collected a lot of trash left behind after the busy weekend. It was another gorgeous night for a walk at the beach, and I have included pictures and the data from what was collected. We also found a sand dollar!

The local company, Atlantic Biotechnology (, has been working with me to keep our beach clean. The zooplankton culture facility, located in Wilmington, has a main focus on creating sustainable environments in and out of fish tanks, so they are always willing to do more to help the environment.

Atlantic Biotechnology has been a great help in my efforts to try to get larger groups of people to volunteer with this organization. We have been consistently walking the beach in the early mornings and evenings when it is not as busy with summer tourists, and we have also done a lot of work on the Cross City Trail this summer.

Sunday 7/17 Data - North End of Wrightsville Beach:
1 Styrofoam cup
1 Packing foam
8 Wrappers
1 Straw wrapper
1 Water bottle
2 Straws
4 Capri Sun pouches
1 Piece of plastic
3 Fireworks
3 Hair ties
2 Tags
1 Napkin
1 Fork
1 Pen
2 Receipts
1 Toy
5 Random pieces of trash
1 Tile
1 Zip tie
2 Caps
2 Cigarettes

Shea Lenkaitis
Admissions Representative
University of Mount Olive at Wilmington
1838 Sir Tyler Drive, Suite 100
Wilmington, NC 28405

One Human Race ~ One Planet Earth

Monday, July 18, 2016

Recent events in the news makes it difficult for me to focus on trash.  I still do because we have One Planet Earth and I feel strongly about protecting it, so I will do what I can.

I am ecstatic to say that we found less trash today than EVER BEFORE!!!!  Why?  I'm not sure, but I have a suspicion that it has something to do with the PRO AM SURF CONTEST.  Why?  Because groups usually come together during this event to clean the beach.  Well….this year, they did a fabulous job!  There was no trash under Crystal Pier and I heard the same was true for Johnnie Mercer Pier!  (I have NEVER heard that!)  WOOT!  WOOT!  Thank you whoever YOU are!!!!  It was so nice to be able to enjoy a cleaner sea turtle patrol walk.

Here are the 124 items that we collected (down from over 300 items in the weeks before):

12 cigarette butts
30 food wrappers
10 plastic bottle caps
1 plastic lid
6 straws (2 paper, 4 plastic)

2 plastic cutlery
1 long piece of electrical tape

5 pieces of fireworks
1 foam piece
2 plastic pieces
1 plastic bottle
7 aluminum cans (several beer cans buried in the sand)

1 plastic cup
15 pieces of packaging
12 tobacco packaging (we are a non-smoking beach….)

1 diaper (yuck)
5 toys
1 hair tie
1 makeup sponge
2 wet ones
5 pieces of paper
1 foam ear plug
1 leash rope
1 band aid

Please be kind to the Earth and to each other.

Today, I took some time to work in my visual art journal and tonight, John and I enjoyed the music of Michael Franti and Spearhead at Greenfield Lake.  A clean beach, a little art and some happy music with friends….It has been a good day for us!

Peace and Clean Oceans,

"Sound of Sunshine"

Chantal's collection of photos while cleaning Wrightsville Beach, plus a bolt of lightening.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Spread Peace

July 11, 2016

Wow!!!!  What a rain throw down!!!!  Thunder and Lightening to boot!!!  It was not safe to get out on the beach until the weather cleared, so it was just me this morning as John needed to head for work.

It was rather peaceful on the beach as the sky was overcast, the temperature was pleasant and there were not many visitors since the rain had just passed and the skies still looked a bit threatening.  The waters seemed gray as well.

I enjoyed the walk, being peaceful and all, especially since the world seems so "stormy" right now.  My heart is broken from the violence of human against human and I long for peace, the kind you find by a quiet overcast sea.  Thank you Mother Ocean for allowing us to find solace with you.

I picked up plenty of trash, though I'm sure lots of items were beaten down into the sand by the heavy rains.  I did not take many photos as I had my phone securely sealed in "plastic"  (:-/)  just in case of more sudden down pours.

Two plastic bottles buried in the sand.

Normally, I would list the trash that I collected (all 336 pieces), but I'm just not much in the mood for that today.  Instead, I will leave you with the song, Imagine.


Spread Peace, Be Peace.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independance Day 2016

July 4, 2016

I celebrate July 4th.  It is a great patriotic holiday for US citizens.  But…. as a KIC and sea turtle patrol volunteer, I dread parts of it.

Why?  Human Trash.

Plastic Pollution is wrecking havoc on our oceans and our planet.  Guess what?  It is OUR--YOURS and MINE- responsibility to clean it up.

The animals did not create plastic, they do not use plastic, they do not litter plastic, and they can't clean it up.  Only humans create, use and litter plastic and only humans can clean it up.

If you want to see less plastic litter, start by using less.  If you want some tips, here they are:

1. bring your own refillable cup and/or bottle
2. bring your own reusable bag
3. bring your own cutlery
4. say "no straw please"
5. buy in bulk
6. request no plastic at the dry cleaners
7. bring your own to-go containers or ask for food to be wrapped in foil instead

But, no day is bad when you are at the beach!  Today, we found a false crawl.  The turtle did not nest, but finding tracks is always exciting.

Due to the excitement of sea turtle activity on the beach this morning, I did not get many photos and we did not even pick up all the trash in our zone, but here is what we did get:

(343 pieces total)
19 cigarette butts (a poor representation of the butts that were there)
74 food wrappers, including plastic sippy straw wrappers/sleeves! (yikes)
17 plastic bottle caps
2 metal bottle caps
11 various lids
18 straws (15 plastic and 3 paper)
1 cigar tip
1 cigarette lighter
11 fireworks (these contain loads of plastic that get littered all over the beach)
4 small foam pieces
11 small plastic pieces
12 plastic bottles

5 aluminum cans
5 plastic grocery bags
7 other types of plastic bags

2 paper cups
6 plastic cups
37 plastic, foam and paper packaging materials
1 plastic travel shampoo bottle
10 plastic strapping ties
7 tobacco packaging
1 panty liner (yuck yuck yuck)
8 articles of clothing
23 toys and/or toy pieces
5 hair ties
3 chap sticks
9 band aids
1 dryer sheet
1 wet one
2 ink pens
1 plastic flosser
1 pair of sunglasses
4 boogie board leash ropes
3 chair straps
18 pieces of paper
1 plastic fishing lure
1 metal tent stake

Hope everyone has a safe, fun and CLEAN 4th of July!

Peace and Clean Oceans,

July 3rd---Ocean Birds

Wrightsville Beach Ocean Birds.  
Photography by KIC Volunteer, Chantal
July 3, 2016