Monday, June 20, 2016

Beautiful Pictorial by Chantal J.

June 2016

Last year, I had the privilege of receiving an email from someone named Chantal who wanted to know how she could help clean the beach.  I get these requests from time to time, but lots of times, I never hear from the individuals again.  That does not mean they are not picking up trash, but since most of our group are also volunteers with the WB Sea Turtle Project, I hear from them more often as we sit at nests and attend meetings and events.  The "free lance" KIC volunteers are rarely seen or heard from, although I know they are doing their part to help keep our planet clean.

Last week as we walked onto the beach via the access at Crystal Pier, I spotted a lady walking ahead of us.  I watched as she opened a bag and began to pick up trash.  I went up to her to ask if she was a WBSTP volunteer and she said no, but she walks in the mornings and picks up trash as she goes.  When she told me her name was Chantal, I knew it had to be the same Chantal I knew from email.  It was so great to meet her in person.

After our greetings, Chantal walked toward zone 5 and we of course continued onward in zone 4.  At the end of our walk, we had the pleasure of running into Chantal again.  We had finished at the same time and had entered and left the beach together.  I love connecting with others who protect the ocean.

Below are pictures that Chantal emailed to me from her 2016 morning walks.  Thank you Chantal for capturing the beauty of Wrightsville Beach sunrises and the activities of our nesting birds.  These pictures are stunning.  ~ginger

SEVEN nests, but who's counting???

June 20, 2016

Woot woot woot woot woot woot!!!!  Yes! We have seven sea turtle nests on Wrightsville Beach and it is only June 20th People!!!!

Please keep our beach clean.  It is good for YOU, it is good for ANIMALS, it is good for the SEA!

John and I had a beautiful walk this morning, but we did pick up a lot of trash.  I think it is because the wind was blowing so hard over the weekend and items just got away from people.

Today was rather intriguing for me.  We have an escarpment in zone 4 left by the weekend's wind and high tide.  As I was walking, I saw something sticking up out of the sand right in the escarpment.  I went to retrieve it and found it was a paint set.  I have never found anything like that and I found it very interesting since I have been spending some time painting this year.  (It was a New Year's Resolution of mine).  There was also a piece of duct tape sticking out of the sand right beside the paint set.  I could not pull it out because it was buried too deep, so I began to dig a hole in the escarpment. I could only imagine that these items got slammed by pounding waves against the shore line and became buried deep into the wet sand.

The hole I was digging reminded me of digging for turtle eggs as it was just a small circular hole that kept getting deeper and deeper, except for it was tunneling back instead of down.  With each dig, I was pulling out more items.  Inside that hole was soggy, wet, disintegrating paper.  Part of the paper seemed like the remains of a wet cardboard box and a Star News newspaper from July 2014--it was folded at the obituaries.  There was a ziploc bag that had "flowers July 8, 2014" written as the contents.  The bag was moist inside, so the flowers had just become a brown smudge.  There was a hard plastic reusable clear kitchen cup filled with seashells---I think this had been sealed closed at some point with duct tape.  There was a tube of neutrogena sunscreen.

I dug until nothing more was found.  My camera storage was full on my phone and so I did not take photos of this process.  I am so curious as to the story behind these items.  Were they forgotten on the beach this weekend?  I think so because the paper was still somewhat intact.  Were they sealed with duct tape inside a cardboard box?  Were they intentionally left, and if so, was it by someone working through grief?  So many mysteries are left by the sea to be held by the sea.

I will likely never know the story of these items, but they were meaningful to someone and the finding of them has become symbolic to me in some way that I'm still trying to figure out.

Below is the rest of what we had in our reusable trash bags:

10 cig butts (actually, there were lots of butts this morning, but I did not take the time to collect them)
42 food wrappers (10 of which were plastic sippy straw sleeves)
5 plastic bottle caps
3 plastic lids
9 straws (8 plastic and 1 paper)
1 plastic fork
1 metal kitchen knife
1 tangled fishing line
4 pieces of latex water balloons
1 piece of glass (not sea glass)
5 small plastic pieces
2 plastic grocery bags
6 other types of plastic bags
2 paper bags
7 plastic cups
2 foam cups
1 foam plate
1 pair of goggles

21 packaging items, including foam wrapping and paper tags
2 sunscreen bottles
4 strapping bands
4 tobacco packaging

2 clothing items
1 wash cloth
13 toys
Cookie Monster is guarding our nest!

1 band aid
1 pair of scratched up Michael Kors aviator sunglasses (shucks on the "scratched up" part)
5 wet ones (these do not decompose people)
6 plastic streamers

16 pieces of paper and paper towels

Please please, when you come to enjoy the ocean, take 5-10 minutes to do a beach cleanup.  It is a small gesture to enjoy so much.  Plastic and other pollution is toxic to the oceans and the animals that live there.  Don't you want to play and swim in a Clean Ocean?  :-)

Thank you Gigi for keeping me company on this gorgeous day while I sorted the trash.  You are the best!
Until next time, I wish you Peace and Clean Oceans,

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Monday Beach Walks

June 6 and June 13

Wow!!!!  What a nesting season that Wrightsville Beach is having!  5 nests and we are only half way through June!!!  We are loving it!

Keep coming to our  beach Mother Turtles. We will Keep It Clean for you!

Two Mondays =Two beautiful mornings on the beach!

We finally did see Rick again.  We run into Rick every year as he picks up trash in our zone just about every morning, even in the winter.  We really appreciate Rick and we love running into old beach friends and catching up over the sunrise.  I think he was happy to see us too.  People who actively love the beach protect it and connect with others who do the same.

John and Rick talking story while the sun rises.

Over the past two weeks, we found the following trash in zone 4 (less than 1 mile of beach)

48 cigarette butts
72 food wrappers/packaging!
1 red pepper---made me hungry and glad to see people eating healthy!
We see lots of food on the beach, but this is the first red pepper I have found!
25 plastic bottle caps
1 metal bottle cap
9 plastic lids
23 straws
1 plastic fork

2 fireworks remnants
16 foam pieces
17 plastic pieces
4 plastic bottles
1 glass bottle
4 aluminum cans
2 grocery bags
3 other plastic bags
2 paper cups
1 plastic cup
1 foam cup
34 pieces of packaging (tags, etc.)
1 strapping band
5 tobacco packages/wrappers
Maybe they didn't know that Wrightsville is a non-smoking beach?

1 clean cloth diaper (another first---wonder if this came from the same people who ate the healthy peppers?)

2 socks
28 toys or toy pieces

3 hair ties
1 hair clip
1 band aid
1 fishing lure
2 metal tent stakes
5 wet ones
2 dryer sheets
2 paper towels
24 random pieces of paper

We also found a stranded Turtle (Ninja), but no worries, he has been rescued!

I am always grateful for my rescued pets who like to watch over me while I sort the trash.

Ringo Starr

Peace and Clean Oceans,

Beth gets paid to clean the beach in zone 0

I received this email from KIC and WBSTP Volunteer, Beth.  How lucky is she???

Hi Ginger, just finished my turtle patrol walk this beautiful Memorial Day morning in zone 0 on the northern most end of WB. Thankfully there is usually very little trash aside from in front of the Shell Island resort. Today was a sad exception :(. My bag was filled to overflowing with all kinds of trash. I passed another woman doing cleanup and we both couldn't believe how much we were picking up. I took a photo of my bag before I dumped it. The clean swell app said it was over 5 lbs. of trash and I think it was even heavier. It includes 2 pair of sandals and a pair of child's gym shoes.  In the sand I found a $20 bill!!!  Guess not all trash is bad!  

Hope you have a wonderful holiday,
Beth Walters

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

May 30, 2016

Two years ago on Memorial Day, John and I found a sea turtle nest.  We had high hopes of doing the same this year, but that was not to be the case.

Today was a beautiful cloudy morning on the beach, with a nice sea breeze.  Tropical Storm Bonnie is brewing somewhere out there, but our world seems like any other overcast day.

I was listening to the sound of the ocean as I removed plastic bags from the dune line and wondered if the ocean's song had turned sad.  It is hard to imagine all of the garbage that rests in the belly of this beautiful beast.

Oh well…I am thankful to be able to do my part and to collect what I can before it is swallowed up by the ocean's tide.

A helium balloon whose paint has been washed off.  It now looks like a clear plastic bag or perhaps a jelly fish to a sea turtle

American plastic toys are littering our planet.
Here is a total of what we carried off the beach today:

21 cigarette butts
45 food wrappers/packaging
10 plastic bottle caps
11 plastic lids
12 plastic straws
5 paper straws
1 plastic spoon still in plastic wrapper
3 balloons
2 pieces of plastic construction ribbon
5 foam pieces
9 plastic pieces
8 plastic bottles
2 aluminum cans
3 plastic grocery bags
3 other plastic bags
1 paper cup
10 plastic cups
3 foam cups
38 plastic packaging items
1 strapping band
3 tobacco wrappers
8 articles of clothing (mostly shoes, 2 bikini top inserts)
1 towel
14 toys or toy pieces
1 surf wax glob
1 chap stick
1 dog treat rawhide
2 band aids
4 hair ties
1 pair of cheap sunglasses
1 battery operated candle
4 wets ones and 6 paper towels
1 fishing bobber and 1 fishing lure
1 huge plastic raft that is pulled behind a boat
1 plastic shower cap

We remember and thank all of those who have given so much!  Please Have a Safe Memorial Day.

Peace and Clean Oceans,

Below are some of my sights on this Memorial Day…

Runner dressed for Memorial Day.

John looking for trash after our turtle walk.  Love him!

Nancy Faye Craig, Wrightsville Beach's all time best and favorite volunteer.  Love her.  She rides her bike almost everywhere and she can run faster and further than many people years younger than her.   We see her most every Memorial Day and July 4th riding with the American Flag on her bike.  So glad we got to see her today!