Saturday, September 29, 2012

Big Sweep 2012/Everything We Do or Don't Do Matters!

We are all connected!  How many times have we heard or said that?  Today, I was reminded of this phrase yet again during the Big Sweep Event.

I, with the help of my willing husband, volunteered to work at one of the sign-in tables at WB.  I was at Access #43 which is also an access where you can go to see the wonder and the beauty of nesting sea birds.

John at Big Sweep
John KIC back--I am happy to be connected with this man!

John and I were joined by other KIC Volunteers and WBSTP Volunteers, Susan Miller and Nancy Fahey.  Susan picked up her new KIC volunteer shirt and wore it while she cleaned the beach!

Susan models the new KIC shirt at Big Sweep

Susan KIC back!

Susan said she refers to KIC as the sister volunteer organization to WBSTP.  I like being connected like that.

We were joined by retired WBPD Officer, Teresa Fountain.  As I listened to Teresa talk today, I realized just how much she cares for the Earth and all of it's inhabitants and how we all share that connection.  I like sharing that connection.

As we worked during the day, Katie Ryan, Director of WB Parks and Rec. stopped by several times to check on us and to pick up or drop off any needed supplies.  Katie is a vital part of advocating for a clean WB and she was certainly vital in keeping everything connected and flowing during today's event.  

Teresa Fountain, Katie Ryan and Nancy Fahey!  A connection of caring women!
The first volunteers to arrive today were members of Hoggard High School's Eco Club.  One of those members is Kailyn, who is also doing her senior project on the Endangerment of Sea Turtles.  Nancy and I are co-mentoring Kailyn for her project.  Now, isn't that a cool connection?

Kailyn will actually be working to organize her own Beach Sweep in a few weeks.  She has already connected with Katie about getting the permits that she needs to do that.

Kailyn at Big Sweep

Hoggard High School Eco Club Members
Hoggard High School Eco Club Advisor, Sarah Aimone holds one of the toys they found on the beach today.  A dinosaur---now think about how we are connected to this guy!

We worked hard today to clean the beach of litter so that we can all have a safer and healthier place where we can relax, play and visit.  But we had fun as well!  We could not help but laugh out loud at Nancy, who found the most peculiar item of the day---a ziploc bag full of unopened, unexpired condoms---31 condoms to be exact!  Now I think whoever left that bag started with some ambition---just wish he/she could have been more responsible about his/her responsible behavior!

Nancy looking happy about the bag of 31 condoms that she found on WB during Beach Sweep!
However, the day wasn't all about laughs as Nancy also found the remains of two sea birds.  One bird, a Black Skimmer, had obviously perished due to entanglement.  He had a fishing line that was completely wrapped around his beak, effectively tying his beak shut so that he could not eat.  The fishing line was also wrapped around his body and his wing.

The other bird was an American Oystercatcher and it was tagged.  YX  

Because of Nancy's connection as a volunteer with Audobon, she knew to call Lindsay Addison, biologist with Audobon, to report her discovery.  Lindsay was able to share that the Black Skimmer was a juvenile that had hatched on South Wrightsville Beach earlier this year.  The American Oystercatcher, YX was also a juvenile that had hatched on South WB.  Because YX was tagged, Lindsay knew that he was one of two chicks who had one parent that had become entangled in fishing line and was unable to help the other parent feed the chicks.  Oystercatchers depend on their parents for about 90 days for food.  Lindsay said that there was no way to determine for certain why YX died, but it is possible that he perished because the entangled parent was not able to help provide food for the chicks.

This is a very sad story and one that I wish did not have so much connection to the behaviors of humans, but it does.

But, the connection did not end there.  Nancy was able to speak to and educate many people today who saw the remains of the birds while we waited for Lindsay.  Nancy definitely made a connection with those to whom she spoke.   The image of the birds and their stories of how entanglement had affected each bird, both directly and indirectly,  made a deep connection with these people as well.

Please read the post by Brianna Elliot, biological technician with Audubon regarding area birds and fishing line.  In the post, you will read about the parent of YX who was entangled.  You will also learn of the proper way to dispose of fishing line.  Never dispose of fishing line in an open trash can as the birds will get in the trash and will risk entanglement.  There are monofilament recycling stations at several access points at WB.  Again, please read Brianna's post about other appropriate ways to dispose of fishing line.

Thank you for caring for the planet and for educating others, even if it is by a quiet example.  You never know how the connection you make with someone else will affect the fate of even one creature on the Earth.  And even one matters!

Remember,  everything we do or don't do makes a difference.  "Every action should be taken with thoughts of its effects on children seven generations from now."

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nancy's final report for 2012

Hi Ginger,
The following is what I collected off the beach the last two days of monitoring:
Friday, 09/14:  Two bags of litter and one beach chair.  The litter included 4 balloons, one wad of fishing line, at least six cans (these were all PBR cans scattered about the south end; I guess someone had so much fun, they forgot to clean up after themselves), more cans, one coffee cup, plastic wrappers, cups, containers, bottles and bags, broken toys and bottles.
Saturday, 09/15: One bag of trash plus one broken boogie board.  My collection included bottles, cans, plastic wrappers, cups, bottles and bags, two pieces of fishing line, and beach toys.
Tha, tha, thaaaaaat's all folks!!!  (Until Beach Sweep, that is!)
Have a great week!

Please add a beach umbrella to my collection last week.  I forgot to include it in my report.  I'm not sure which day I picked it up off the beach, but I think it was Wednesday, Sept. 12th.

Thanks, Ginger!

Sea Turtle and Audubon Volunteers work together to clean WB

Hey Ginger,
Today, 09/13, we (the Audubon folks and I) picked up two bags of litter, plus 1 towel, 1 shirt, 1 kite (with the string spread all over the beach), 1 diver's fin, 1 water-wing, and 1 chair.  The trash included plastic wrappers, cups, containers and bags, a huge wad of fishing line, toys, cans, bottles, 1 pair of pants, and 3 pairs of sunglasses.  I also found a huge mesh bag on the south end (the size of a duffle bag) filled with a fishing net and buoys.  I did not see anyone that appeared to own the bag, so I dragged it away from the tide line to the dune.  If the bag remains on the beach tomorrow, I will put it and the net into the trash cans!
I helped Lindsay and crew take down the postings on the north end this morning, so some of this trash was collected from inside the posted area.  We picked up all the trash in the dune system that we could find.
Have a great day!

Nancy finds more trash and another WBSTP volunteer!

Hi Ginger,
I have fallen behind in my litter report!  Here is what I have found the past few days:
Friday, Sept. 7th:  2 bags of trash, plus one chair, one towel, and a white rubber buoy.  The litter included a wad of fishing line, and lots of plastic bottles, cans, plastic wrappers, cups and bags.  The worst find of the day was  two plastic bags and a puffer fish at the tide line on the south end.   The poor fish was alive and gasping after being left to die out of the water.  I tried to put him back in the water, but I'm not sure if he survived.  At first he washed back in, but then finally he at least seemed to stay in the water.  Poor fellow!  Why in the world would someone leave him to suffer and die like that?
David drove for me from Saturday through Monday.  He did not report any litter collected from the beach.
Tuesday, Sept. 11th:  I collected one bag of litter which included a balloon and the usual plastic wrappers, cups, toys and cans.  I also saw a huge horseshoe crab at the tide line on the south end.  He was dead, which was very sad.  I hope he was not pulled out of the water and left to die like the puffer fish!
Wednesday, Sept. 12th:  Today, the beach was not as clean.  I picked up 2 1/4 bags of trash, plus one chair, and a diver's fin.   The collection of trash included one shirt, one pair of boxers, two mylar balloons (which were tied to the rope at the bird sanctuary on the north end :(), one piece of fishing line, cans, plastic bags, wrappers, containers, and toys.
I had the pleasure of seeing Celia on the beach this morning, and as a matter of fact, she helped me collect the balloons from the bird sanctuary.  Thank you Celia!

Nancy finds a dog that she does not report!

Hi Ginger,
News from the beach:
Wednesday, 09/05:  I collected 2.5 bags of litter.  My finds included fishing line, a dirty diaper, two pairs of shoes, plastic wrappers, cups and bottles, glass bottles, cans, and toys.  I also found one towel which I will wash and save for sea turtle rescues.
Thursday, 09/06:  Today, I found three bags of trash on the beach; two pairs of flip flops, pieces of broken boogie board, plastic bags, cups, bottles and wrappers, straws, cans, styrofoam cups, and fishing line.  I placed 1/2 a broken boogie board in the trash and one broken chair.  I also found one beautiful dog on the beach which I did not report to the police!
Have a great rest of the week,

Nancy donates beach items and has hope for "a cleaner tomorrow"

Hey Ginger,
I will try to update the report daily since it is hard to remember details after a few days.  Please add to yesterday's finds one kite with string and one balloon with a very long piece of ribbon attached.  Both were at the tide line.  :(
Today I removed three bags from trash from the beach.  This included a diaper, a pair of boxers, two pairs of Crocs, lots of plastic wrappers, plastic bottles, plastic bags and containers, rope, broken toys, and cans.  I also collected two boogie boards, one large clear plastic raft, three pieces of PVC, one large nylon disk shaped toy (it looked like a large flexible frisbee) and the two foam goal posts that went with it, one towel at the Holiday Inn, a shirt and a pair of leather flip flops.  All was placed in the trash cans except the shirt and flip flops which I brought home to clean and donate to Goodwill.  I also called in a canopy which had been dumped on the face of the dune at Access #13.  Since it had been there for several days, I thought maybe the public works guys might want to go ahead and collect it with the trash during their next run on the beach.
Here is to a cleaner tomorrow!

Nancy finds a fish bowl on WB (among other trash)

Hi Ginger,
Here is a very late trash report from August:
Friday, 08/24, Zone 4:  About 3/4 a grocery store bag full of trash. The litter was mostly plastic wrappers, bottles and cans. Zone 4 was pretty clean for a Friday!
During my rides on the beach, so far, this is what I have collected:
Saturday, 09/01:  I collected about one grocery store bag of litter, plus two chairs.  
Sunday, 09/02:  Today, the beach was trashed by all the visitors.  I picked up five bags of trash which included a mesh nylon bag, lots of bottles, cans, plastic bottles, wrappers, cups, broken toys, a hat, plastic bags, clothing, a broken styrofoam plate, shoes and flip flops.  Plus I removed a styrofoam cooler, seven towels from the beach at the Holiday Inn, two more stray towels, and a linen napkin from under the Oceanic.
Monday, 09/03:  Sadly today, I once again found a beach that had been trashed.  I picked up six bags of litter which consisted of a nylon mesh bag, cans, glass bottles, plastic wrappers, bottles and cups, a huge wad of fishing line, broken toys, plastic utensils, straws, plastic bags, flip flops, and a fish bowl.  Yes, I did say a fish bowl.  A plastic one, to be exact.  And all of this was really only the tip of the trash pile!
I also removed three chairs, four boogie boards, two plastic rafts, one pair of denim shorts, and fifteen towels from the beach at the Holiday Inn.  I found one other towel on the south end which I will wash for the turtles.  I called in three abandoned canopies, one of which I later talked the trash collectors into taking off the beach.  It had been tagged after my earlier call and was about to wash into the water on my return trip up to Mallard St., so I asked the public works  guys if they would remove it and they did.  
I will hope to find a cleaner beach tomorrow.
Have a great holiday,

Kim's last walk yields two bags in zone 1

Name : Kim Meyer
Zone : 1
Date Walked : Sunday, 8/26/2012
# Grocery Bags : 2
All the usual items.

Amber photographs the best of WB on her last walk

Hi Ginger!
Hope you all had fun last night (KIC Pizza Party)! Here are a couple pics of my last patrol this morning.  I collected 2 bags full of a smaller recycled bag of trash this morning and some really nasty things were on the beach this morning....It's really just so sad people are so thoughtless...

Thanks for all you do!

Rick and Jill identify the signs of a "mad wife" at WB!

Following is the trash report for the week of 8/20:
8/21: Zone 4 - didn't pick up much due to the rain -- but the messiest tourists seem to have left already
8/24: Zone 0: 1/2 grocery bag -- mostly unopened lures scattered about the length of the beach...we surmised it was dumped over in the boat and washed ashore, or the girlfriend/wife was mad and threw it out...

Clem finds progress in butt disposal, but no victory

Hi Ginger,
Weather conditions were a bit dicey this morning – so I was out very early and done by 0630 when it was just getting light. It both looked like and started to rain so today’s patrol was faster than usual. Sorry not much to report:
1 grocery bag consisting of:
2 balloons
1 towel
2 stacked styrofoam coffee cups filled halfway with many cigarette butts (at least they put them all in one place though disposing of properly was apparently too much trouble!).

16 weeks = 32 bags for Hank and Allison in zone 1

I have been so remiss in getting our trash update to you.  We walk zone one on Fridays.  We always pick up at least two plastic garbage bags of trash per week.  Mostly it has been plastic beach toys. Certainly we have picked up our share of disgusting things, but I think we are lucky to walk on Friday mornings. 
Allison and Hank Burnett

John and Ginger's last walk for the season

Our last walk was on August 27th, but since my computer had to be replaced, I am just now getting around to posting it.

It is always sad to say goodbye to sea turtle season and since our last walk, we have watched many baby hatchlings make their way into the open waters of the Mighty Atlantic!  Always amazing!  and I always feel blessed to be a witness to this beautiful event in nature.

We were actually greeted with dark clouds on the morning of our last walk, but the beach is always magnificent in any weather.

Today we collected only 4 bags of trash which included the following:

18 butts
11 straws
6 plastic bottles
5 shoes
1 aluminum can
3 articles of clothing (2 mismatched socks and 1 bra insert)
5 toys
27 plastic bottle caps
1 metal bottle cap
1 pair of reading glasses
2 plastic cups
2 ziplock bags

I am thankful for starting each Monday (each week) of the summer by walking on Wrightsville Beach with John.  What a life!!!


Monday, September 3, 2012

An Almost-Blue Moon on Friday Morning

Can it be that it is already the end of the 2012 sea turtle nesting season?? Wow, it hardly seems possible! I just looked back at my calendar to see that I completed 16 early morning clean ups this summer, and I feel so very fortunate to have begun each Friday morning this way. There is nothing like being greeted by the sunrise over the Atlantic.

On Friday, August 31, I was instead greeted by an equally beautiful sight: a very-near-full moon! I arrived at the beach just before 6 am to find that it was still completely dark outside. I waited for about 10 minutes before I began walking, because I actually could not see very well at all. But those 10 minutes gave me the opportunity to capture a few photos of the moon, with sea oats swaying in front of it. Pretty spectacular, eh?

As the sun began to shed a bit of light on the beach, and I began to walk, I instantly noticed how different the beach looks once the summer season is over and school is in session. There were no piles of sand toys left in the sand. In fact, there was very little evidence of activity on the beach at all, except for the wrack line. The wrack line was unfortunately covered with cigarette butts and other small bits of plastic litter and styrofoam in huge quantities. I picked up many, many cigarette butts, but did not count them all out this week. (After the 422 I picked up last week, I was feeling kind of disgusted, truthfully.)

The good news is that I only picked up about 1 and 1/2 bags of trash today. This included one pair of sunglasses, 1 pair of women's underwear, 1 beer can, and 6 glass beer bottles. If not for the 6 bottles, I would have only found 1 bag of trash. And it appeared that the bottles had all been dropped by the same group of people, as they were scattered along a stretch of about 1/2 mile, but they were all in a straight line, like some people just walked along, drinking and dropping as they went.

The awesome thing about Friday morning is that every person I encountered just seemed to be loving the gorgeous (RAINLESS!) weather and beautiful, sunny morning. One jogger picked up an empty cigarette box and tossed it into my bag as he ran past me. A couple sat enjoying the sunrise and asked if I would take their photo as I walked past. Another jogger paused to ask me for an update on one of the remaining sea turtle nests at WB. And yet another person stopped to tell me that there was a particularly good spot on the beach for shell hunting that morning. It was fun to get to talk to so many different nice people. WB brings out the best in people, for sure! :)


Friday, August 24, 2012

A trashy wrack line in zone 3

Isn't it surprising what a gray and rainy August we have had? This morning (Friday, August 24) the sun peeped through the clouds for a few moments, but then was hidden again, as the cloud thickened and the skies became stormy.

Today, because of all of the rainy weather this week, there was very little evidence of recent activity on the beach. One green inflatable raft washed up at the shore line, and there were a few sand toys. But other than that, I did not find a lot of trash from beach-goers. What I did find, however, was an enormous amount of trash that had washed up at the wrack line. As always, there was an overwhelming number of cigarette butts. It would have been a challenge for anyone to clean them up-- even a team of people with rakes. Other common items included bottle caps, band-aids, straw wrappers, and straws. From this one small patch of sea grass, I pulled 16 cigarette butts, so it is sad to imagine how many were all along the length of WB this morning.

My litter total for today was 1/2 of my reusable bag, which is equal to 2 plastic grocery bags of litter. This included:
-64 plastic bottlecaps
-2 aluminum cans
- 2 cigarette boxes
- 1 glass soda bottle
- 4 plastic utensils
- 422 cigarette butts
- 30 plastic straws
-4 balloons

I sorted my trash out next to the restrooms at Johnnie Mercer's Pier today. A man with a metal detector came along, watched me sort the trash into piles, and asked me what I was going to do with all the "stuff" I found. I told him I was going to sort it out, document it, then throw it away. He looked at me like I was completely crazy. But I guess sometimes people forget that knowing that we've helped out the ocean and all of its inhabitants is the "treasure" part of what we do.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Encouraging words from Michelle to "beach friends"

Good Morning,

On a rainy August 22 morning in Zone 0, I only found a few pieces of tissue, one plastic beach pail handle, and one cigarette butt. (1/4 bag)  Great job beach friends:)  Enjoy the last couple weeks of summer and keep up the good work.  Michelle

Nancy finds treasure too! :-)

Hi Ginger,
I've been a bit slack on submitting my trash reports lately, so here goes:
Zone 1, Thursday, 08/16/12:  This section was relatively clean and I collected only about 1/2 bag of trash.  It consisted mostly of plastic food wrappers, 2 cans, and broken beach toys.
Zone 5, Monday, 08/20/12:  Today, I cleaned about 1 bag of trash from the beach.  In Zone 5 I found a shirt, 2 socks, 3 balloons, lots of plastic wrappers and straws, a good sized wad of red fishing line, 3 wire-ties, and lots of bits of styrofoam.
Zone 2 on Tuesday, 08/21/12:  This morning I found so much trash in Zone 2!  The tide was higher than normal and there was an awful lot of litter in the wrack line and on the beach.  I collected a pair of flip-flops, a sheet, a towel, a broken beach umbrella and about 4.5 bags of trash.  This included many straws and lids, lots of plastic wrappers, plastic cups, 1 sock, many pieces of balloon, 1 wire-tie, several discarded and broken beach toys, yellow caution tape (just north of the Holiday Inn), a shower cap (seriously????), lip gloss, a mesh beach toy bag, and numerous straw wrappers.  
The waves also left behind many beautiful shells to be found on our beach this morning.  I felt rewarded by mother nature for cleaning the beach of trash as nearly every time I bent down to pick up litter, I often found a beautiful treasure, as well.
Hope you have a great week!

Celia enjoys a rainy walk in zone 0

I walked Zone Zero for Vickie this morning.  When I left my condo, it was not raining, but by the time I got to Shell Island Resort, the rain was coming down.  I normally pick up trash on my return trip, but didn't pick up any today because I had an iphone to protect.  :)  It was a nice walk because no one ventures out onto the beach at 6am to walk in the rain, so it was just me.  Lovely!  cbj

Another dirty diaper in zone 1 for Dick and Linda

Dick and I had one full bag and four stakes that we will pass on to Nancy.  Usual stuff - dirty diaper, wipes, straws and tops to plastic bottles. 
        Linda Chapman 

Cathy finds 1/2 a surf board in zone 4---anyone missing it???

Dear Ginger,
       I had a light day yesterday in zone 4.  A child's boggy board, half a surf board and a bag and a half of bottles and plastic bags.

Clem picks up 8 bags in zone 5

Hi Ginger,
About 8 full grocery bags today consisting of.
1 heavy, big, water-logged, sand-encrusted bedspread
2 beach towels
A 2-foot broken fishing pole
2 plastic fish baits
1 can chewing tobacco
Various small paper trash
+ the usual assortment of plastic bottles, beer bottles and soda cans.

Cathy finds a pile of 18 tablecloths and 10 napkins in zone 4

Dear Ginger,
       Wasn't last night awesome! (The nest boiled!) I walked last night and wanted to get this out to you.
      I picked up one beach chair.  Five sand toys.  A few bottles and some garbage one bag.  The big pile was 18 tableclothes and 10 napkins.  A full heavy trash bag.
Hope this helps

A sequence of "ones" in zone 0 for Michelle

Good Morning,

August 15th, Zone 0, just one plastic straw, one solo cup, one beach towel, one cigarette lighter, and last but certainly not least, ONE BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE:)

Only 1/2 bag full.  Michelle

John and Terri find interesting items in zone 1

Here is our trash report from the last 3 weeks.  Sorry for the delay.  I'll try to give you our best memories of what we collected, starting with today since that memory is the freshest.
We collected one full Harris Teeter bag--water bottles, sand bucket straps (3;, broken sand toys (3); fireworks containers with an unknown object nearby (looked like a small, charred, wire whisk broom?); baseball cap; tee shirt; tampon (will not describe); thin sanitary pad (in a different location); assorted plastic cups; many straws, bottle caps, and wrappers; small piece of rubber tubing; sunglasses, plastic; handi wipes; orange and lime peels/pieces; one blue nylon canopy carrier, empty.   No cigarette butts!?!?!?!?  (Maybe we didn't look hard enough. ) One wire canopy with nylon top.
Nest looked fine.

Last week was the morning of the storm so John and I split the walk so we could get off the beach quickly.  Didn't find too much as I recall, except for some goggles, 2 towels, a sand bucket. 
Collected the equivalent of 1.5 Harris Teeter bags with the usual assortment of items.  I do remember finding several tee shirts, single flip flops, 2 towels. 
We did see 2 older dogs running along the beach and back and forth from the dunes, no owner in sight.  Couldn't see if they had any tags. 

Turtle Lady, Jenny Johnston subs in zone 5

Hi Ginger,

I subbed for Clem, Zone 5,  on August 2, Thursday.  One grocery bag.  Mostly styro took up the space: top of a takeout container, 2 lg. cups (at far south end close to Coast Guard station) and a couple of kid sand toys. Not too much trash along the strand, surprisingly.  But, of course, the usual cigarette butts.


Kim finds a case of water in zone 1---that is 12 plastic bottles

Name : Kim Meyer
Zone : 1
Date Walked : Sunday, 8/12/2012
# Grocery Bags : 2

Luckily I got on the beach early because a storm was quickly approaching.  I tried to hurry so I did not pick up as much trash as usual.  However the beach wasn't too bad since the prior day had been overcast (and possibly raining, I don't recall) as well.  Also I didn't see any towels scattered about at Shell Island.  Not sure if that was due to weather or if they finally gave up on the courtesy beach towels.

I did find a case of water that was pretty much untouched that I carried from Shell Island to Holiday Inn.  I'll make sure they get properly recycled.

Record low in zone 0

We had a plastic cup lid and one scrap of paper. This is the smallest amount we have ever found.
Abrons, Butler and Doss

Rick and Jill continue the good work

Hi Ginger,
Following is the update for the week of 8/13:
8/14: Zone 4 - 1 filled grocery bag of cans/plastic bottles
8/17: Zone 0 - 1/2 grocery bag of cut bait, plastic bottle and lots of bottle caps
Have a great weekend!


Amber cleans up zone 2

I filled up one reg sized paper grocery bag FULL. so much trash this past Tuesday :(  (This would equal 3 plastic grocery store size bags)


Nicole catches us up on zone 2

Zone 2 Friday Aug 10th  1 plastic grocery bag full of trash
Did not walk Aug 3rd
Zone 2 Friday July 27th 1 plastic grocery bag full of trash


Two weeks = 8 bags of trash for John and Ginger in zone 4

We are almost at the end of sea turtle nesting season and the time seems to fly by.  I will miss walking the beach early on Monday mornings in excited anticipation of finding sea turtle tracks.

I always think I may continue to get up and go pick up trash, but history has shown that I usually don't. Don't get me wrong---I still pick up trash, but not on a weekly scheduled basis and I will miss seeing the ocean in the early morning light.

It is the rhythmic nesting ritual of the ancient sea turtle that has now created this rhythmic ritual for me to more consciously take care of my Ocean.  I thank the sea turtle and the Earth for all the gifts they give to me including the gift of awareness.

As far as my trash reports go, I am once again behind for two weeks; so here they are:

On August 13th, John and I collected 5 bags of trash.  Listed below is some of what we collected:

9 cigarette butts
5 plastic bottles
3 plastic bags

4 articles of clothing (one gap shirt that I may be keeping for me---treasure!)
8 toys or toy pieces
6 ziploc bags
1 lighter
1 plastic flosser (I hate these)
1 pair of nice swim goggles
17 straws
1 plastic knife
11 plastic bottle caps
1 metal bottle cap
1 aluminum can
7 shoes
4 plastic cups
3 plastic lids

Watching the sun wake up in the morning never gets old!   .....but Gigi sometimes gets bored watching me sort the trash.   (she probably thinks I'm nuts!!)

On Monday, August 20th, I walked without John and collected 3 bags of trash.  I did not take pictures on this day b/c the weather looked threatening and I did not want to risk damaging my camera.  It was too bad because at one point when the light was just so, I could have sworn that the ocean looked a soft hue of purple---just beautiful!

It took me three attempts to sort and categorize my trash when I got home b/c each time I went outside to try, it would begin to thunder and lightening!  So again, I kept my camera inside.

The story of the morning was micro trash instead of the big items.  I could not believe all of the cigarette butts and especially the number of straws that were all along the tide line.  Had I only walked the tide line in each direction, I'm not sure how many straws I would have collected---it was amazing to me.

Below are my numbers:
99 cigarette butts
2 plastic bottles
13 toys or toy pieces
1 ziplock bag
1 pair of cheap sunglasses
43 straws
1 plastic knife
3 plastic spoons
1 plastic fork
32 plastic bottle caps
2 metal bottle caps
1 plastic cup
3 plastic lids


Friday, August 17, 2012

Jumping fish in Zone 3

For the second week in a row, I am pleased to report that the litter was not too bad in Zone 3. As always, the most persistent item was cigarette butts. I also found a large number of small, clear plastic straw wrappers-- the kind that come on juice boxes. Those are so small and light that I am sure they frequently just blow right off of people's picnic areas.

Today I collected a total of 1/2 of my reusable bag of litter, which is equal to 2 plastic grocery bags. In the interest of time, I did not count my trash items today. I did, however, remove both aluminum cans and plastic water bottles from my bag and place them in the recycling bins by Johnnie Mercer's Pier.

One rather amazing thing that I witnessed today was what appeared to be a very large school of fish that were jumping out of the water. They were moving southward, and since they were swimming parallel to shore, I was able to watch them for a good half mile or so. I wasn't able to catch a good photo, because they were so fast, but you can kind of see one of the jumping fish in the photo below.

I also took a short walk along WB yesterday evening with my husband, and my mother in law, who is currently visiting us from Washington DC. As we walked, I stooped to pick up a straw wrapper, and a gentleman who was also walking down the beach held out a plastic bag to me. "Are you picking up litter?" I asked. He replied that he was, and explained that he frequently walks from one end of the beach to the other for exercise, and picks up trash as he goes. It made me happy to meet a kindred spirit, and I told him about this blog. Hopefully he will find it!