It felt great to be back on the beach! We had a beautiful sunrise, were able to watch dolphins play, AND we did not find that much trash!
We benefited from the help of fellow volunteer, Marsha Floyd. Marsha lives out of town, but when she visits she walks at least half the beach every morning and picks up trash along the way. See the photo for all the trash she had collected this morning. Thank you Marsha.
We only found 26 cigarette butts, which is amazing! Usually we only pick up a few of the cigarettes we see on our walk because there are so many that we don't have time to get them all. However, this morning, we picked up every butt we saw and only found 27 in our whole zone! That is a remarkable improvement! I would say the smoking ban on Wrightsville Beach is effective in decreasing the amount of cigarette litter on the beach. This makes me excited as less litter is always better.
Interestingly enough, we picked up three cigarette butts by the construction site at Oceanic Pier and lots of plastic bottles and construction debris. Another volunteer has reported the same thing as far as more plastic bottles around the construction site. My hope is to improve this by educating about the importance of cleaning up around the site, and especially as it relates to the coastal environment.
We will keep our fingers crossed that sea turtles who wish to nest at our beach will avoid Oceanic Pier until the construction is complete. I would hate for a turtle to get tangled up in the construction equipment and plastic netting.
The great news about the construction is that Oceanic now has screens that should help reduce the amount of litter (straws, coasters, napkins, sugar packets, plastic stirrers, plastic mint wrappers,etc.) that blows from the restaurant tables.
Here is the total of our collected trash today (May 20, 2013):
7 food wrappers (lots of cheese wrappers)
3 plastic lids
19 plastic straws/stirrers
1 plastic spoon
2 pieces of rope
1 balloon with string
1 string without balloon
4 pieces of construction related material
3 plastic bottles
4 aluminum cans
3 plastic cups
2 socks (not matching)