Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy to know about Brent Stoney, another kindred spirit

I saw the story printed below on Fox News (7/30/11).  I am inspired by Brent Stoney and hope to be able to report his clean ups on our community count one day.

One-man cleanup crew

Posted: Jul 30, 2011 6:37 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2011 6:37 PM
By: Craig Reck - bio | email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The varied landscapes of New Hanover County amaze tourists, filmmakers and even locals.

But one man is worried that there's too much trash on roadsides, beaches and waterways. Brent Stoney started "trashing" four years ago after he noticed bottles floating in the water next to his boat.

"I'm not a very good fisherman," said Stoney, "but trashing, you always come home with a full load unfortunately."

Stoney spends most Saturdays trashing with some garbage bags, gloves and a grabber given to him by his grandmother. This Saturday, Stoney walked along a 100 yard patch of grass near Hewitt's Marsh.

"At what point are we going to have more trash to look at than the mud we have in the marsh?" asked Stoney.

He might not know the answer, but Stoney hasn't given up on a solution. He said the Port City can stay beautiful if people simply pay attention and take action.

"You can talk about how much you hate it, but unless you do something about it" said Stoney, "it's just going stay there".

Stoney said he picks a new trashing spot every week while he's driving around town, so be on the lookout for this weekend warrior.

Copyright 2011 WECT. All rights reserved.

Email from "Harry" and Flotsam Diaries

I received the comment/email below (in blue) , earlier this week; and thus met Harry, a kindred spirit.  Harry lives in Maine and picks up trash at his beach, Bay View.  He has been documenting and blogging about his finds since June 2010. You can follow his blog, The Flotsam Diaries.

Great blog! Discovered you through Danielle of "It Starts With Me." I do similar work up here in Saco, Maine. It can be disheartening, but it's like a burst of energy to discover other folks caring for their beaches too. Wish we had turtle landings up here, that would be quite a sight! Thanks for all you're doing. 

week 13--Kym finds a Huge Shark's Tooth in zone 5

lots of holes - one with boxers and thongs present (eeeehhw), 1 bag trash, 1 bag recyclables, 1 bag treasures- 2 frisbees, surf wax, one gigantic sharks' tooth, 2 pieces of sea glass & a collection of army men!

week 13--Christie reports from zone 0

I collected about half a spackle bucket (one bag) on Wed. morning and also found someone's towels and sheet covered in sand.  I unburied them and left them there, thinking maybe people where out and then it started pouring and they ran to the hotel. I also picked up a cheap plastic kite with the string and the usual butts and plastic bottle caps. 

week 13--Julie Nichols thanks WB Sanitation and meets other kindred spirits in zone 2

This Julie Nichols.  I subbed for Renee this morning in Zone 2.
It was quite trashy out there this morning.  I picked up 2 bags of items…mostly the bigger stuff—articles of clothing, fireworks, cups, bottles and toys. Didn’t have time on a weekday to pick up everything, so I aimed for the big stuff. I cleaned up around the gazebo area while I waited for my walking buddy.  Trash wasn’t too bad there, except that you really don’t want the first thing a visitor sees when approaching the beach to be a discarded pair of panties. L

No turtle tracks, but for the good part -- I saw a couple get engaged at sunrise in the life guard stand.  Nice!

I also ran into a visiting family.  The mom had stuff in her hand and saw my bag and asked if it was trash and she contributed.  She said she’d picked up quite a bit of trash around the pier and she just couldn’t understand how people could come to this beautiful beach and leave their trash.  I told her about the turtle walkers in the morning and that we also pick up trash and thanked her for helping.

There were no full or overflowing trash cans.  Thanks WB sanitation dept. 

I’ll be doing it again for Renee next Thursday.


week 13--Kathleen Holly finds bird trapped in plastic

Hi Ginger, Yesterday am I was walking on the inlet side.  Came upon a fat tern fledgling with plastic wrapped around both it's legs.  Shannon the ranger was also on the beach at the time.  He said he will wait until the bird tires and remove the tethering plastic.  

I picked up almost 1/4 of a gallon bag of cig butts this am.  Someone must have brought an ashtray to dump.  On a better note, two beach walkers came up to me to thank us for taking care of the beach.  

week 13--Michelle reports from zone 4

Good Morning,

The sand was nice and cool from the rain we had last night and the sunrise was beautiful as always.  No tracks and only one small bag of trash in Zone 4 on this 27th day of July.  Picked up 16 plastic straws, 21 plastic bottle caps, 14 cigarette butts, some shoes (will wash and save), couple of toys, and lots of miscellaneous pieces of plastic and paper.  I did see the nest and am so excited:)))))))  Michelle 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A very beautiful post for nest #2 by Kym Davidson

Hi Everyone,

Below is a blog that Nest #2 Mama, Kym Davidson posted on WHQR blog site.  I am so happy she shared it with me so that I could post it here.  Kym's excitement really comes through in the post and it is contagious!!!!!  (Nest #2 was found several weeks ago---sorry that I am late in posting)


Kym Davidson, Underwriting Representative:
After four summers of walking Wrightsville Beach every Sunday morning, enjoying the sunrises and abhorring the trash,  I was actually greeted with turtle tracks leading to a nest!  Last Sunday in the early morning hours, and in the light of a nearly full moon, a mama turtle decided to lay her eggs in the very zone I walk, on the very day I walk it!  With five zones being monitored and maintained seven days a week with very little turtle activity, this was a remarkable discovery!  Of course this nest is shared with many eager Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project volunteers which now partners with Keep It Clean – working to make WB a safe and beautiful beach for all its visitors, especially the sea turtles.  So far to date, over 35 of our volunteers have collected over 300 bags of garbage this turtle nesting season, trash that would otherwise be in our waters.  Toward the end of the summer, we hope to witness these eggs hatch, as baby turtles will begin their journey to grow and flourish and hopefully return to our beaches to repeat the cycle.  In the meantime, we will keep attempting to ‘keep it clean’ and safe for them. Right now I am enjoying the excitement of being a sea turtle nest-mama!

Monday, July 25, 2011

week 13--Abrons/Butler/Doss Keep It Clean in zone 0

We had very little trash this morning, several plastic handles from children buckets and one or two scraps of paper.  (I am going to count this as 1/2 bag this week)


week 13 --Dick & Linda in zone 1


     Not much going on in Zone 1 today.  Got one full grocery bag and no great finds.  Rgds   Dick and Linda

Cindy comments on having her shoes taken

Hi Ginger,
Actually...on my very first walk, someone took my flipflops..........therefore; when Gina and I walk, we have serious conversations about if we should trash shoes or not.  We have generally opted to leave them.
It is kinda upsetting to come back to find that your shoes are gone even if they are old and used!!!!!!
Have a good one!


week 13 Kym expresses frustration with beach debris and "the acceptance of litter"

I collected 1 trash bag of litter - mostly small plastics & 2 bags of recyclables.

Oceanic was a mess! (north side), straws, paper coasters, napkins, etc. They really should do away with this type of inventory or clean it up themselves! Although not my zone, & all the trash was not from restaurant, I picked up everything but some napkins (uhhgh).

Yesterday was one of those frustrating mornings for me maybe it was the high humidly, or maybe it was simply all the appalling litter!  I was spending more time zig-zagging the beach to collect small plastics that I know to be harmful to sea life, rather than enjoying the beauty and peacefulness of the setting around me.  Most mornings I focus on the positive and can breath and soak it all in, yesterday was the exception.  It was frustrating to me that the 50-75 people I saw were enjoying all that our coastline has to offer, while either oblivious to the litter or accepting of it. Surfers, fisherman, swimmers, photographers, joggers, cyclists, families playing, beach combers, parents & children walking hand-in-hand.  If all of these people collected just one plastic bottle, aluminum can, firework debris, straw, coaster, napkin, fishing line, glass bottle, juice box, plastic bag, plastic container, cigarette butt, fast food wrapper, paper or plastic cup, plastic beach toy, flip flop, etc. of the many that I saw and collected, the beach would be such a more pleasant place. I do not understand the acceptance of litter.  Do people think it will go away on its own? Have they not seen the footage of the ocean trash pit the size of Texas and growing?
Someone once told me something so simple, yet so profound:  "If you walk by litter and do not clean it up, it is the same as littering yourself".
I want to be able to focus on the beauty of an ocean sunrise, the hope of turtle tracks and safe seas for all its inhabitants; simple and profound, yet obtainable, but only if we try

week 13 John & Ginger find 28 toys in zone 4

It rained on us today, but that did not deter us.  We collected 8 bags of trash and could have gotten more.  We also carried some in our hands b/c we came upon one area in which several toys were left.  Now, we did not gather these toys right away just in case someone came to get them.  We walked the entire zone and collected them on the way back.  My thoughts are that someone abandoned the toys during the storm yesterday.  If the owner reads this blog and would like to reclaim the toys, I will be happy to turn them over, but neither John nor I felt good about leaving them on the beach.  I would like to add that there were no others signs of residence around the toys.  No cooler, no chairs, no towels---nothing---just toys.  I wish I had taken a picture of them on the beach, but the batteries were dead on our camera and I did not want to pull the cell phones out in the drizzle.

We also found lots of bottle caps and straws today.  The worse was the cigarette butts, which we did not collect due to time and wanting to search for tracks.  Had we focused on the butts, we would have never lifted our heads.

In total, we collected 8 bags of trash which included the following:
51 bottle caps
32 straws
3 plastic cup lids
1 plastic bag
1 ziplock bag
1 towel
1 umbrella
3 boogie boards
1 tampon (yuck and double yuck!)
several bandaids
3 styrofoam cups
1 balloon piece
1 plastic cup
7 Slim Jim wrappers
1 plastic 6-pack ring
3 beer cans
5 plastic bottles
4 shoes
28 toys
2 chap sticks
1 pair of reading glasses
1 pair of little girl's underwear
lots of other bits and bops of trash.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

weeks 11 - 12 Nicole reports from zone 2

Friday July 15th Zone 2 collected one grocery bag of trash.

Friday July 22nd Zone 2 collected one grocery bag of trash.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

week 12--John Marcucci finds a nest in zone 4!!!!!

On Sunday night, I asked John if he would please walk the zone in the morning (7/18) without me, explaining that I felt exhausted and thought I needed some sleep.  He kindly agreed.

At 4:30AM, I woke up and asked him the time.  I made a mental note that he would need to get up soon to go to the beach.  I was worried and did not sleep well because Foxy, our indoor/outdoor cat and early morning alarm had decided to sleep outdoors and I was worried John would oversleep without her (our alarm clock broke and we currently do not use one).  So, again at 5:30, I was wide awake and nudged John telling him to get up so he could go walk the beach.

I still laid awake as I heard him getting ready and I thought, "I should really get up and go with him, I'm already awake".  But I decided to not go thinking I would get some much needed rest while he was gone---wrong!  I kept waking up and finally was worried that he was not back.

I found my phone (it was on silent) and saw every indicator was lit up.  I thought, "no way, he did not find tracks without me."  As I clicked on the messages, I saw a picture of very beautiful sea turtle tracks. Before I could listen to the messages John had left, Nancy was calling.  I answered and told her that I was getting dressed and was on my way.  She said she was on her way to the beach as well and would see me there.  She was very excited.  I was excited too, but I was still processing my self-frustration at missing this opportunity.  I could not believe it!!!!

Okay, so I was asked this week by a dear friend and fellow volunteer, Kathleen Britton, how I really felt about my husband finding the nest on the one day that I decided to stay in bed.  My response was:  "I feel 3 ways":

1. I am happy for John.  He always supports me, forwards my emails to friends and gives me way too much credit without taking any himself.  This time, he has to take all the credit, and he deserves it, which makes me very happy for him!

2.  I am really sad that we did not get to share the experience together.  I think it would have been really fun to find the tracks together and feed off of each other's excitement.  It may be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I regret we did not share all of it.

3. I am so frustrated at myself and it will never happen again.  I can't believe the one time I miss walking the zone,  I miss finding tracks!!!  where is the justice???   :)   (I say all of this with a laugh b/c I am ecstatic we have a nest and I am so happy for John)

So, on John's walk, he found the following trash (3 bags)
1 plastic bag
1 plastic bottle
2 unmatched socks
1 hat
1 pair of sandals
1 pair of flowered sunglasses
6 toys
2 balloons with strings
15 Bud Light cans
4 straws
31 bottle caps

ONE set of tracks that led to 129 beautiful sea turtle eggs!!!  Thank you Mamma Turtle!!!!

As I was helping Nancy at the nest sight, I found two pieces of beautiful sea glass (emerald green and aqua marine blue)---I never find sea glass....   I like to think this was also a gift.

I want to thank Nancy for all of her patience, guidance, kindness and excitement in teaching me about relocating this nest.  I will never forget it!!!

weeks 10-12 Nancy Faye Craig in zone 4

Nancy calls her reports into me and I have collected them for the past 3 weeks; so here they are:

week 10-- 2 bags.  1 bag of recyclables.  She also reported a lot of fireworks.

week 11-- 2 bags consisting of 4 bottles and 5 cans, and the most plastic bottle caps she has ever seen.

week 12-- very little trash--only 1/2 bag consisting of 3 cans, straws, bottle caps, and lots of receipts from Oceanic restaurant.  She also found 3 pieces of balloons with the ribbons attached.

week 12 Tammy and John photograph sea turtle in sand

John & I found this beautiful sea turtle in Zone 2 this morning! :o)

Danielle hopefully makes progress with Oceanic---Woot!!!

Hey Ginger!  Thanks for the update!  I wanted to give you (all) an update and let you know that I talked to the district manager of LM Restaurants regarding the huge amount of straws that we find blown from Oceanic's dining pier AND the employee break area that is always loaded with littered cigarette butts.  He (Albert) assured me that he's going to get the ball rolling on getting these problems fixed... he's even going to look into paper straws!  He should get back to me in about a week, so I'll give you an update on what he says then :)

Thanks for everything that you (all) do and I'm looking forward to the pizza party! :)

week 12 Susan reports on structures, blowing plastic bags, cobalt blue sea glass and mysterious blue shreds

Hi Ginger!

Today, as always, was simply beautiful at the beach. The litter in zone 3 was fairly average in that it was concentrated around Johnnie Mercer's Pier, but not too bad elsewhere. One thing that did surprise me today was that there were fewer aluminum cans than I normally find, and I did not find any glass bottles at all. Today I picked up a total of 1 grocery bag of trash, which consisted of lots of random plastic (freeze pop wrappers, cracker and cookie wrappers, etc) 1 shirt, band aids, 1 disposable diaper, and lots of cigarette butts and plastic bottle caps.

I filled my reusable bag (equivalent to 4 grocery bags) with 1 unopened can of beer, 1 empty beer can, 3 plastic cups, 1 plastic candy container, 10 plastic water/juice/gatorade bottles, 1 pair of women's sandals, and 9 sand toys.

One issue that I ran into today was that there were 2 canopy structures, along with a few towels and chairs near beach access #25. It was actually hard to tell if they had been there overnight, or if they had just been set up that morning. There were some people swimming and surfing in that area, so I elected to leave these things alone and just focus on the things that I knew for sure were trash. And looking for turtle tracks, of course.

The highlight of the day was that I found my first ever piece of cobalt blue sea glass. Woo hoo! It is very pretty. The low of the day happened when I was almost finished walking my zone, and was heading back towards Johnnie Mercer's Pier. It was rather windy at the beach this morning, and as I was walking, a plastic grocery bag went whipping past me in the wind from behind. I considered running to catch it, but it was really on the move, and it's awfully hard to run in dry sand. But as I looked up at it I thought, "It's okay. Surely one of those other people will pick it up." Then I watched as 6 different people walked right past the plastic bag. One girl ignored it and kept walking when it actually blew up against her leg. This left me feeling very discouraged.

Lastly, does anyone know what this mysterious blue plastic litter is? There were shreds of it, some of it very small, scattered all throughout my zone.


week 12 Police respond to tent structures by Rick and Jill

Hi Ginger,

Woo hoo on the nest you guys found!  I'm sooooo happy we have #3!

Sorry I haven't reported in awhile...I've been out of town and been relying on wonderful subs to cover : )

Here's the report for this week:

Tuesday, 7/19: Zone 4 - 1 full bag - nothing out of the ordinary
Friday, 7/22: Zone 0 - 1/2 bag, but much classier trash (glass instead of plastic drinking cup) - and forgetful fishermen that left a whole container of bait shrimp.  We also picked up a few spent fireworks...definitely not what nesting turtles would be drawn to.

Also, there was a tent at the very north end all set up with coolers, fishing poles, chairs, etc.  We called the WB police, but no one answered.  So we called the Wilmington police and they patched us in.  The policeman came while we were just leaving so hopefully they won't be camping again.

Have a wonderful weekend!


week 12 Christie has a great suggestion about dune fences (zone 0)

The sunrise was picture perfect on Wed. morning.  We collected about 1/2 a spackle bucket of garbage.  There seems to be an area near shell island in the dunes where people must hang out and party.  On numerous occasins I have found beer cans and plastic bags.  Putting a dune fence up might be something for WB to consider.

week 12 Cindy and Gina in zone 3

3 broken chairs
several pieces of clothing
plastic shovels, pails
misc pieces of plastic: straws, bottle caps, plastic bottles, broken pieces of plastic.
beer cans, soda cans
metal twist off caps
misc shoes
paper tags from clothing, tissue papers, plastic bags
We filled 5 Plastic bags with the above items!
Gina DeVaughn
Cindy Wilson

week 12 Kathleen Holly meets other beach cleaners at Oceanic Pier

While doing my walk and picking up debris, met a family of visitors picking up trash around the Oceanic Pier.. it was prisitine when I left thanks to them.  Jane, Steve and Ann Arnet.  Didn't ask where they were from.  As a confirmation project Ann was picking up trash.. This week they each picked up many bags of trash.. So we could add their cache into our.  I picked up 3 bags this am.. fishing line with hook, bottles, cans of minute maid, dorito bags, empty bait pkg.  I saw a young man come in near Acess 40 the past three mornings with a German shep around 6:50am.  Also met up with 2 teenagers with their dog; a black mutt.. told them there was a huge fine which I think would make the parents unhappy.  They took the dog off the beach.  Met a group taking photos in the dunes.. suggested to avoid the $500 fine they might want to go to the nearest access and take pics from the path.  

We did good this am.. alas,  saw strange marks that might have been from something dragged.. but not tracks.. no ghost crabs near the south end nest either. ..  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

week 12--Was the CSI in zone 1??? by Dick and Linda


     Got one full grocery bag full this morning in Zone 1.  However, just when you think you've see everything NOT.  I found to large plaster casts of someone's foot.  Now either CSI was there or somebody was extremely bored at the beach.  Rgds  Dick and Linda

week 12 Celia has good humor in zone 4

I subbed for Michelle today in Zone 4 and enjoyed seeing the new nest.  Not much trash, one bag, mostly small pieces of plastic, paper from straws, wipes and bottle caps.  I did pick up an unusual number of band aids, so the kids must be having a rough summer.  Didn't find any diapers, but did find a baby pacifier and I'm guessing that family had a tough drive home.  cbj 

week 12 Celia meets Vicki in zone 1

Ginger...Congratulations on your NEST!  I cried when I read Nancy's message.  :)  I'm subbing in Zone 4 tomorrow for Michelle Leonard and I can't wait to check on your nest.  I will be in Virginia and miss the two earlier nests when they hatch, but will be back in time to see your babies scurry to the ocean.

I subbed for the Littlejohns in Zone One this morning and I will be subbing for them again next week while they are in Alaska.

Zone One, July 19th:  One large bag of 'stuff'.  I found usual plastic beach toys, including one Sea Turtle shaped sand mold.  I left those at the life guard stand.  I did run into volunteer, Vicki Debaets at Shell Island Resort, but decided she was definitely not trash and let her go on her merry way.  Celia

week 12 Abrons/Butler/Doss---styrofoam cup with butts---that's all folks!!

The trash picked up on zone 0 would have all fit in the styro foam cup found with some cigarettes butts in it. Really good at cleaning up in our area. 


week 12 Brenda reports most trash she has had from zone 1

Hi Ginger,

I got a full bucket of trash today(2 bags).  This is the most I have had in zone 1.  There were 2 sand buckets that were broken,  a full unopened glass bottle of Shrimoff Ice, broken sunglassess & various plastics.



week 12 Cathy reports from zone 4

On Sunday I picked up 3  bags of trash in zone 4.


week 12 Kim Meyer & Celia in zones 0 & 1

For zones 0 and 1 Sunday July 17th, Celia and I picked up about 5 bags of trash from the beach.  There was quite a bit of trash in zone 1 this time.  Lots of plastic bottles, toys, and shoes.  Also we collected a lot of chip bags and paper towels as well as cans.  Apparently the full moon brought a lot of people to the beach. 

week 11--Christie finds little trash in zone 0

I was pleasantly surprised this Wed. morning and did not pick up much trash at all.  I found a pair of goggles and some cigarette buts, a couple pieces of plastic wrappers.  In total it was only 1/3 of a plastic grocery bag.

week 11 Susan finds little trash at JM PIer

This morning was perfectly picturesque at Wrightsville Beach. 

There was a cool breeze, and for the first time in months, I was able to walk without getting sweaty. It was so refreshing! I also love it when the ocean water feels warmer than the air temperature-- nature's hot tub.
The first thing I noticed upon walking onto the beach at Johnnie Mercer's Pier was six beach chairs, in various states of disrepair, that were all on or near the tide line. Two of them were in the water and slowly being dragged out to sea. I made three trips up to the trash can with them, carrying two at a time.

 A man stood very nearby with his metal detector and watched me but did not offer to help. I did not think this was very nice. So my first thought of the morning was, "this does not bode well for me." But fortunately, I was wrong.
Overall, there was really not much litter at all today. In fact, there was so much less than normal that I am wondering if perhaps someone did a clean sweep yesterday evening to prepare for today's big surf tournament. There were lots of cigarette butts and plastic debris at the high tide line that obviously washed up during the night, but overall the areas that normally have lots of trash were not bad at all today. 

The changing area next to JM Pier, for example, is usually full of clothing, shoes, diapers, fast food bags, etc. It is often just a terrible mess here, so much so that I never include it in my normal beach litter count. But today there was nothing except for two plastic water bottles that had both rolled under the wooden benches.
So really, my walk was quite nice today. I only collected one bag of trash, which consisted primarily of bottle caps and cigarette butts from the tide line. I also filled my reusable bag 1/2 full (equivalent to 2 grocery bags) with recyclables and reusables. This included 2 plastic bottles and 9 aluminum soda/beer cans. 

7 of the cans I actually retrieved from one specific spot. They were all buried in the sand. I noticed the tip of one gleaming in the sun, and when I went to pick it up, the sand under it seemed suspiciously mounded. So I kicked it around and discovered 6 more cans. Other reusables included 12 sand toys and 2 pairs of flip flops.

There was quite a bit of activity on the beach as early as 6 am today, including a very large structure that was being set up for the surfing tournament near access #27. I hope there were no turtle tracks there! Overall, it was fun to see such a flurry of activity there early in the morning. There was definitely a lot of energy and excitement!


Susan Z. Miller
Freelance Writer and Editor

A side note is that the yellow hand digger pictured with the toys above are very helpful for filling in holes.  
Another side note is that I love Susan's picture of the sun and pier---beautiful.

week 11 Kathleen Holly titles email "more butts than ever" zone 5

I don't know if it was the lightening show or what.. but this morning I picked up almost half of a gallon bag of butts.  Total garbage was 3 gal bags. the kiddie toy nets (2), wipes, bottle caps, plastic bottles, pieces of surf gear, fish line, pieces of duct tape, straws and a few toys..

have a great day and thank you for your encouragement.  

week 11 Gina & Cindy find lots of straws and bottle caps in zone 3

Gina DeVaughn
Cindy Wilson
Today was not that bad compared to prior weeks.  We filled 2 Plastic Bags, but they were the plastic bags from Target, that are larger then the normal plastic bags from the food stores, and they were very full & heavy!!!!
The following TRASH was collected:
1 Comforter Blanket
2 Towels
5 pieces of clothing
1 Flipflop
5 plastic shoves
1 plastic sand bucket
plastic stand for umbrella
2 broken sand chairs
5 beer cans
3 plastic mini liquor bottles
metal beer can caps
tissues, papers, tags from items
suntan lotion
LOTS of Plastic Straws
plastic bottle caps (LOTS)
broken pieces of misc. plastic
pieces from Fireworks
I think that sums up our list from today!

week 11 Danielle & Family at Oceanic--lots of straws and butts

Hey Ginger!

We did back to back 20 minute clean ups at Access 36 on Sunday and Monday.  As you know, our family adopted access 36 and tend to go there quite often.  One thing that we find at access 36 is a lot of restaurant litter from Oceanic.  The litter can be found on the north side of the pier and includes lots of straws, papers, crayons, cracker wrappers, plastic condiment cups, etc.  One of the major problems, as you've noted before is the straws.  On Sunday, we picked up a total of 36 straws.  29 of those straws came from Oceanic.  On Monday, I picked up 21 straws... 16 from Oceanic.  Clear straws, some still in paper and also the little black "stirrer" straws.  If anyone wonders...yes, it's obvious that they come from Oceanic's dining pier as there is a whole line/section where they can be found... sometimes they blow into the grasses as well.

Another thing that is always a problem when cleaning up at access 36 is the amount of cigarettes left in the employee break area.  On Sunday, I was so frustrated that I skipped cleaning up the employee break area.  But, when we came back on Monday... the "break area" was in the same dismal state.  In just that one area, I removed 99 cigarette butts.  What makes me very bothered by that is that if the employees are smoking during their break and littering their cigarette butts... I have no doubts that they are littering them in other places as well.  Oceanic has an opportunity to educate about the negative impacts that cigarette litter has on our environment... and just like the straws... they need to take full responsibility and fix the problem.  Wrightsville Beach is their home... their backyard... they should cherish it.  I am going to contact them again, but I think that it would make more of an impression on Oceanic if many more people contacted them as well.

Also, Monday evening the trashcan was overflowing.  Looking down the access (to the north) there were a lot of trashcans spread out... most completely empty.   There really needs to be more trashcans at the access point as that's where the majority of people are coming and going.

Here are the links to my blogposts... they're a bit ranty from my frustrations of cleaning up after Oceanic.

Our Daily Ocean: Day 78
Our Daily Ocean: Day 79


Cigarette butts: 544
Straws: 57
Plastic spoons: 2
Caps: 16
Toys: 3


week 11 Joy finds overflowing cans in zone 5


Picked up one full grocery bag but as you can see the cans seemed to be the issue.  Four of the cans in Zone 5 looked like this.  It was a sad sight.  I have also been finding balloons on the beach.  Most of the garbage I picked up was the usual, lots of plastic, a couple of bottles and a beer can.  The cigarette butts are becoming more prevalent also. 
  I was unable to copy Joy's pic for this post, but the trash can was overflowing and had trash blown all around it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

week 11 Terri & John find 4 more plastic bags used to anchor tents or canopies

Zone 1, Tuesday

4 bags of trash--including a very big wad of string; numerous bottles and cans; 4  plastic shovels and 2 buckets; 1 towel, lots of handiwipes & paper towels; single flip flop; bandaids; the usual cigarette butts, 4 and-filled bags, tall kitchen trash bags (probably had been used to anchor a canopy) which we emptied and tossed;  and a mermaid.  See photo.


week 11 Celia has a great suggestion for Shell Island

I subbed in Zone One, Saturday, July 9th and collected one large bag of trash (4 grocery bags), several lost flip flops, the usual toy shovels and buckets, a few cans, a few plastic bottles and a lot 'wipes'  Because it had rained most of the day before, the beach was pretty clean.  I wonder if Shell Island Resort knows how much trash we pick up for them?????  Maybe they would like to donate some money to the Sea Turtle Project in our honor.  :) 

week 11 Abons/Butler/Doss explains 2.5 shoes in zone 0

We found a bag and a half of trash this morning. There was 2 1/2 pairs of shoes, [either a peg legged person or a three legged person was on the beach], two pair of sunglasses, two styro foam cups, and a few scraps of paper.


week 11 Kathleen Holly finds a bag of dirty diapers in zone 5 + lots of other trash

In my last 3 trips, today, Sunday and Saturday; picked up lots of trash.. 5 gal in bag fulls plus dragged 2 heavy wood boogie boards, 3 trashed beach chairs, 4 tee shirts, gnarly flips, 3 knit underpants; mens' and boy, 1 bikini bra filler upper and.. a bag with dirty diapers in it.. plus lids, mustard and ketchup thingys, beer cans, glass coke bottle, clothing tags and wipes.   Dragged big items to trash cans and cleaned up a trash can the birds picked apart.. 

week 11 Susan does an extra clean up and finds 6 Diapers!!!

Hi Ginger,

I did an extra litter clean up this morning. My brother and his girlfriend were in town visiting from Washington DC, and wanted to visit the beach for an early morning walk. So while they strolled and looked for shells, I picked up litter around Johnnie Mercer's Pier. Unfortunately, the amount of litter today was downright appalling. I only picked up trash from underneath and directly on either side of the pier, and I quickly filled up my reusable bag (4 grocery bags), then just walked back and forth to the trash cans with many additional items.

Recyclables and reusables included 2 pairs of men's flip flops,

1 pair of girl's water shoes, 4 soda/beer cans, 8 sand toys,

18 soda/water bottles, 4 plastic cups,

1 pair of glasses,

 and 1 pair of sunglasses. Items that I put right in the trash included 3 towels, 1 bra, 2 pairs of underwear, 1 tee shirt, and 1 large metal tent spike. Additional trash items included many snack bags (Fritos, Doritos, etc), McDonalds food containers, a broken chair, lots of straws, Capri Sun drink packs, and lots of assorted plastic.

The most discouraging part of the day for me was that I picked up and threw away 6 dirty disposable diapers. Not one, not two, not three... six. Four of them were actually close together underneath the pier, (as shown in this photo)

then I found 2 others in separate areas. Now, I am not a mother, so I know that I cannot truly understand or sympathize with the huge amount of work that is motherhood (and fatherhood, of course). But once you have the dirty diaper off, is it really that hard to throw it in the trash?? Truly, I am appalled that anyone would leave a completely unbiodegradable bundle of plastic, feces and urine to be swept out to sea. I'd like to include a link here to an article I wrote about a year ago that details the toxins that are contained in disposable diapers. I'm going to hope that somehow, someway, the careless diaper-litter-leavers will find this blog post and change their ways!

Okay, well I'm climbing off my soapbox for now. I hope everyone has a wonderful week and that this is THE week for another turtle track discovery!


week 11 Dick and Linda zone 1


     Monday 11 July Zone 1, two grocery bags of trash.  No treasures today.  Rgds  Dick

week 10 Mellissa finds dangerous syringe in zone 4

Hi Ginger
As I am sure you know there are some pretty high tides this weekend, which has caused a rather large escarpment in zone 4. So we weren't surprised when we were only finding small pieces of trash, bottle caps etc.  But then we found something pretty scary. It was a syringe, cap off and needle facing upwards. We were actually quite lucky we didn't step on it. So beach walkers beware, apparently trash isn't the only thing you need to worry about now.
We collected one full grocery size bag of trash. However it think it consisted mainly of plastic and beer bottle caps.

week 10 Allison and Hank find lots of trash in zone 1

Zone 1, Friday July 8 we picked up 4 bags of trash. It was the most trash we have seen in a long time.

Allison and Hank Burnett

week 10 Angela subs in zone 0

Hi Ginger,

I walked on Wednesday morning July 6 for Christie.  I picked up about 1/4 of a tall kitchen trash bag. (1 grocery store size bag)

Lots of straws fireworks plastic wrappers and bags. Also plastic bottles and cans.

Thanks -

Danielle & Aaron -- 20 minutes

Hey Ginger!  Aaron and I went out to WB (sans our kids) on July 4!  

We hit the beach around 8pm, but the beach was SO packed.  (not surprising)  What was surprising is that all of the trashcans were empty!  woot!  We ended up cleaning Access 15 for 20 minutes.  Here's what we got:

257 cigarette butts
36 straws
32 caps
19 plastic utensils 
7 aluminum cans
5 plastic water bottles
6 beach toys

Here's the post: Our Daily Ocean: Day 77


week 10 Danielle and Friends in 5- 10 mins.

Hey Ginger!

On Saturday afternoon (July 9), my kids and I went to Access 2 with a friend. (Yes, the north end... so strange for me!)  My friend, Tracy, and I picked up litter fairly randomly before the storm rolled in... maybe 5-10 minutes total.  We picked up one plastic grocery bag full of litter.  (Oh yes, I found the plastic bag on the beach... in fact, I found two.)  Also, removed 18 cigarette butts.

Nancy Fahey finds an IPOD!!!

Hi Ginger,

I subbed in Zone 0 on Saturday, 07/09, for Karen Blake and crew.  I picked up about 1/2 a grocery store size bag of trash.  

I am sorry for reporting the following so late, but here goes:

Trash collected in Zone 5 on 06/04:  1 grocery store sized bag of trash consisting mostly of cans, bottles, and food wrappers

Zone 5 on 06/11:  1 1/2 grocery store size bag of trash consisting mostly of cans, bottles, and food wrappers, once again.  The treasure for the day was an ipod!

Zone 5 on 06/18:  About 1/2 grocery store size bag of trash.

July 4th:  I checked both nests throughout the weekend on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  On Monday evening, I walked the length of both Zone 1 and Zone 5.  I collected about 2 bags of trash in Zone 5 and reported two abandoned beach canopies in front of lifeguard stand #13.  There was a lot more trash out there, but I was anxious to check on the nest in Zone 1, so did not try to collect it all.  

In Zone 1, I collected about 1 1/2 bags of trash, plus a styrofoam cooler lid and plastic bag that blew up into the dune right next to our beautiful nest.  :(    I also reported an abandoned beach canopy frame, (AKA; skeleton), left behind in Zone 1.  In this zone, particularly, there were zillions of huge holes left behind on the beach, many right at the tide line.  

And that about wraps it up, for now!

Have a great week,

week 11 Ginger zone 4 balloons and structures & overflowing trashcans

This week I walked alone because John was out of town.

I collected 6 bags of trash and found one structure left on the beach

 and one trashcan that was overflowing.  However, there were bags from the town in the trashcan, so I know the ambassadors were educating beachgoers about keeping WB clean.

24 butts
2 plastic cups
2 styrofoam cups
26 bottle caps
4 plastic bottles
9 cans
1 t-shirt
1 boogie board
1 chair
3 balloons

15 toys
2 plastic lids
4 shoes
2 ziplock bags
1 plastic bag
13 straws

1 package of horny goat weed????

I am also adding 2 plastic bags and 1 ziplock bag that we collected from the beach on a different day.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

weeks 9 & 10 Nicole in zone 2

Zone 2 Friday July 1st 1.0 grocery bag of trash
Zone 2 Friday July 8th 2.5 grocery bags of trash

week 10 A Wedding & A Helping Hand by Gina & Sami

Hi Ginger,

TRASH REPORT ZONE 3  Wednesday, JULY 6TH, 2011

Today I walked with my daughter, Sami, 12 yrs. old -  (Cindy, hope your foot is feeling better) Besides collecting 4 Bags of Trash, it was a very interesting morning!  We saw a Sun-Rise Wedding on the beach and met a young man, along our walk that offered to help pick up trash, & asked us for an extra trash bag, so I gladly gave him one, and thanked him.

We collected 4 Plastic Bags of Trash
plastic straws, plastic spoons, bottle caps, lots of pieces from firework items, beer bottles, soda cans, plastic shovels, flip flops, 2 broken chairs, boogie board, sheet, 2 towels, bathing suit and a comforter.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

Gina DeVaughn and Sami

week 10 Wicked Clouds & a Skeletal Bone by Susan

Well, I've had 2 crazy weather adventures 2 weeks in a row. I'm on a roll! This morning was really quite amazing at WB. When I arrived, it was looking rather threatening. Then the sun came out while I was walking my zone. I made it to the end at beach access #32, when it poured very hard for only about 60 seconds. On my return trip the weather varied wildly between sun, then clouds, then seriously black clouds with thunder and lightning. I know the weather changes quickly on the coast here, but sheesh!

One neat thing about the weather was that it made for some cool cloud formations and awesome shell hunting.

I did, however, complete one full walk of my zone, then go back and look for shells just so that I wouldn't be distracted the first time around!

The two areas with the most litter in my zone this morning were right around Johnnie Mercer's Pier, and at beach access #29. (There is a large hotel at this access, but I am not sure what it is called.) There was just so much litter in both of these spots-- really overwhelming amounts. I collected one full bag of trash at each of these spots, then a third bag through the remainder of my zone. I also filled my reusable bag about 3/4 full, which is equivalent to 3 bags of recyclables. Large items that I took to the trash right away included some sort of large plastic horn, 2 broken shovels, and 1 tee shirt.

Recyclables today included 2 beer bottles, 11 plastic water/iced tea/soda bottles, 5 beer cans, and 8 plastic sand toys.

I discarded my trash at the beach today rather than bringing it home and sorting it, so I'm not sure about the counts there. However, there were an awful lot of plastic water bottle caps.

And it felt like I was picking up another straw every time I turned around. There were so, so many straws, and lots of other plastic litter today as well, such as these bracelets. I am not sure what these are from, but there were several of them. This one had green smiley faces on it, but the majority of the ones I found were neon orange.

The most interesting thing I found today was what I at first thought was a large piece of plastic. However, upon further inspection I discovered that it was a bone from some sort of marine animal. It smelled highly unpleasant.