Monday, September 5, 2011

week 19-- letter from Nancy

It was vey disheartening this morning to find an ENDLESS amount of plastic on the beach.  A lot of litter was above the tide line and was likely strewn about by visitors this weekend.  :(  However, at the tide line and below, there are thousands of pieces of plastic to be found, large and small, along the entire length of the strand.  Even if I had spent the whole day trying to collect it all, it still would not have been possible.  Much of it is a very heavy construction grade plastic sheeting.  I feel certain this has washed up on the beach and continues to be carried in on the tide.  Where it came from, I have no idea, but I can tell you, our beach is trashed with this material.  As a matter of fact, there was more litter on our beach this morning than I have seen for many years.  I literally felt ill when I finally left today.

I collected about six grocery store size bags of trash this morning, three yesterday, and 1 1/2 on both Thursday and Friday.  This includes much of the heavy grade plastic, NINE balloons & strings, and a shattered glass liquor bottle in front of Shell Island Resort.  I picked up all of the large pieces of glass, but many shards remained.  I felt horrible thinking about the likelihood of someone stepping on those tiny fragments of glass that were left behind.  I've also carried a few towels and other large items to the trash cans.

The very first day, I found a huge loggerhead sea turtle washed up dead in the surf on the north end.  The poor thing was in pieces and falling apart.  Not a nice way to start my two weeks of monitoring, to say the least!  Yesterday, someone had a party on the north side of JM Pier (photos attached).  Tiki torches and fuel were also littered about the site.  They must have had one awesome good time!  Too bad they were too tired to clean up after themselves.  Today, people were sleeping all along the beach; at Mallard St., Stone St., near the Oceanic, and at Access #41.   I've passed people with dogs on the beach every single morning.  Ugh!

Okay, so much for all the doom and gloom.  The great news is that our nest is intact, the trench has been built, and we have the arrival of some beautiful sea turtle hatchlings in our very near future!

I will look forward to seeing many of you on the beach!


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