Saturday, June 30, 2012

week 8---So good to hear from Dewi in zones 3 & 4

We walked 3 & 4,but no tracks.I am now away and do not have e mail for Ginger e mail address.if you could please forward,collected one crockery store of trash.

week 9--Nancy Fahey subs in zone 2 and finds a pair of bedroom slippers

Hello Ginger,
I monitored Zone 2 this morning and while searching for tracks, I instead found trash.  During my walk, I collected 2 bags of litter including a head band, one baby's hat, six cans, one ladies feminine hygiene product collected with a discarded sand shovel, lots of plastic wrappers and broken sand toys, one Capri Sun container, three flip-flops (none matching), three socks (none matching), one pair of bedroom slippers (huh????), several plastic bags, plus one frisbee and two chairs which were put by the trash cans.  
One interesting observation: I saw a Surf Camp near Access #10, with lots of parents sitting in beach chairs watching their kids learn to surf.  All around them litter could be found scattered on the beach.  My thoughts: What better lesson could those kids learn about love and respect for the ocean and our planet than to have them clean the beach of litter?  With as many kids and parents that were on the beach, they could have had all that litter in the area collected within a few minutes.   It is a shame such a valuable learning experience and opportunity was not taken advantage of!
Have a great rest of the week!

Good point about the camps and any beach goers for that matter, picking up litter around them.  I know that many of the surf camps in our area make a point to clean up trash and teach about litter in the ocean.  I have approached some of the surf camps about adding their trash to our page and hopefully that will happen soon.  I'm hoping that the parents were excited to see their kids surf and were planning to pick up trash afterwards.... ~ginger

Nancy Fahey subs in zone 5 and is a true Ocean Lover and Inspiration---Thank You Nancy

Hi Ginger,
I subbed in Zone 5 for Kym this past Sunday.  I collected 1 1/2 bags of trash from the beach.  My collection included bottles, cans, and lots of plastic wrappers.  I also dragged one very wet and sandy overcoat to the trash cans.  Couldn't quite figure out how that ended up at the tide line.  I find it interesting that the beach in Zone 5 is very clean and nearly trash-free on the south end near the bird sanctuary.  This is the area in which the trash cans have been completely removed.  What is to be made of that, I wonder?  Another interesting observation:  I found a half a plastic bottle which contained tiny cutup pieces of bait.  It was near some men that were fishing, so thinking it was theirs, I didn't pick it up on my way to the inlet.  However, on my way back, they asked if I had found any turtle nests (I had my volunteer shirt on), and I said unfortunately, no.  I asked if the bottle was theirs and they said it was not.  So, I dumped the bait and put it into my bag.  Both of the guys made it a point to say thank you.  I love it when a simple gesture of goodwill brings total strangers together!  :)
I walked on the beach Friday evening to enjoy the beautiful weather and sunset.  However, I was very upset to find hundreds of pieces of broken styrofoam in Zone 4 at the tide line.  At the water's edge, there was an endless amount of tiny styrofoam balls, as well.  It made me sad to think of how much of this toxic litter has been swallowed by mother ocean.  As I walked, I collected as many of the larger pieces as I could, but it was impossible to pick it all up.  I also took one very long styrofoam float to the trash cans.  That is one piece of styrofoam that will not break down into a zillion tiny pieces in our amazing ocean!  
I also had the great pleasure of seeing WBSTP volunteer Pat Patrick, and her husband, that evening in Zone 4.  It sure was wonderful seeing Pat on the beach again, and I told her we will look forward to having her join us for nest sitting later this summer.
Have a great week,

week 8--Dick and Linda find evidence of a beach sale in zone 1

Just one bag for zone 1 on Monday, 25 June 2012. 
    There were a lot of clothing tags - must have been a beach sale someplace!
    Also a lot of those clear straw covers. 
    The usual assortment of bottle tops and wipes, and a sock and a red pail.

The clear straw covers are from juice boxes.  What ever happened to the cardboard cartons that you had to push and pull out the folded spout.  We use to drink from those and I never remember thinking I wish I had a straw!  ~ ginger

Friday, June 29, 2012

A steamy Friday morning in Zone 3

Can't you tell just from looking at this photo that it was a steamy morning at Wrightsville Beach? Clear and cloudless!

This morning, as I began to walk through Zone 3, I felt optimistic and encouraged. There was not much litter at all around Johnnie Mercer's Pier, which is always a great surprise. Most of my zone was fairly clean, despite the very hot temperatures over the last couple days, and what I suspect was probably a pretty busy beach week. The majority of what I collected in my zone consisted of plastic bags, chip and snack packages, plastic straw wrappers, wipes, paper towels, and other items that tend to blow away from people's picnic spots.

This however, changed when I came to beach access #30 and the hotel that is located nearby (I can't remember off of the top of my head which hotel that is). Behind the hotel, there was a very large amount of litter. I filled half of my bag just from this small area. There were also four people hanging out, watching the sunrise and taking photos who left trash in this area between my first pass and my return trip. That was very disconcerting.

My total for today was one full bag of litter, which is equal to 4 grocery bags. Among the small bits of trash, this also included:

-4 sand toys
-1 pair of goggles
-3 Kool Aid Jammers drink packets
-2 styrofoam cups
-2 plastic cups
-2 paper McDonald's cups
-6 soda/beer cans
-9 plastic bottles
-1 electronic cigarette
-1 hat
-2 tee shirts
-1 broken pair of flip flops
-17 plastic straws
-61 cigarette butts
-1 condom
-1 doll's head (body MIA)

Today I took a minute to meditate and send lots of positive energy out to the folks who are suffering from the terrible wildfires in Colorado. May the winds stop, and the rains begin!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

week 8--Ginger tells a story in pics

On Monday, June 25th I walked for my second week in a row without John.  (He was really under the weather)  However, I still did not find tracks!!!  I'm always sure I will when he does not walk with me because the one time I did not walk with him in 3 years, he found tracks!!!!  I have never found tracks! Oh well, I will keep trying.

I was greeted by a beautiful Wrightsville Beach sky.  I really do love our beach and that I am able to live so close.  People come here from all over the country to take in this view, and I could see it everyday if I wanted to.  How lucky is that?

I could not get enough of the sky.

But, what people do not come here to enjoy are cigarette butts in the sand.  It is not pleasant to walk in the sand, sit in the sand, or play in the sand amongst cigarette butts.  If I only focused on picking up cigarette butts, there is no telling how many I would collect, but no time for that when searching for sea turtle tracks (which is way more fun!)

Nicorette and cigarett butt side by side.  Butt was smoked, but Nicorette was still in the package.  Oh well, guess you can always quit tomorrow. 

I found this to be a rather interesting day for litter clean up.  The first thing I found was an egg, not a sea turtle egg, but an Easter egg.  I have found these on the beach before and I am sure kids are playing with them, but it is always a little perplexing to me.  Today I found 1 1/2 eggs and they were not even close together.  So, does that mean that two different families were playing with Easter eggs on the beach in June?

I also found an umbrella, not a beach umbrella, but a rain umbrella.  Although, it seems a little flimsy, it does work.  I have washed off the salt and will be carrying it to the sea turtle hospital so that people can use it for shade while they wait outside in the sun in long lines just so they can get a glimpse at the sea turtles inside.

There were fireworks on the beach this morning as well.  I hate finding fireworks because they contain plastic.  Not only are the casings made from plastic, but the explosives contain plastic as well.  Since they explode, there would be no way to clean all the litter from the fireworks, not that people seem to think they need to collect the fireworks anyway as we often find the casings left on the beach.  Did you know it was illegal to have fireworks on our beach and it also could disturb a nesting sea turtle or hatchlings?

I have said before that I always lose expensive sunglasses and I always find cheap sunglasses.  Such was the case today.  While I didn't lose any sunglasses, I did find two pair of cheap ones.

Not only do people need sunglasses for beautiful beach days, but they may also want to wear sunscreen and drink a cold beverage.

Farther down the beach, I came across a beautiful sand castle.  The only down side is that there was a huge hole behind it.  From the photo, it is difficult to tell just how deep the hole is, but if a sea turtle had fallen in the hole, it would be a struggle to climb out if she would be able to climb out at all.  I hope everyone will begin to fill in their holes prior to leaving the beach so that the beach will be safe for our sea turtles and for pedestrians who may not be paying attention to their footing.

I always find toys on the beach, but I don't really know how to classify a plastic fish with the word "Shakespeare" engraved in it.  I quickly googled Shakespearean quotes on "nature" and found this from The Tempest:

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
That has such people in't!  

(not really about nature if it wasn't taken out of context, but it works okay here)

And then I came across some rose petals.  They were very beautiful and they caused me to wonder if there had truly been some kind of Shakespearean theme on the beach because we all know that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet".

Sadly, I mainly find litter on the beach, not rose petals.  I found three balloons today, which we all know cause sickness in animals, such as sea turtles, who ingest them and injury for animals that become entangled in them.  Many times the sickness and injury from ingestion and entanglement of balloons lead to the untimely death of animals.  Releasing balloons is by all purposes litter and it is included in WB ordinances.  One balloon I found today was entangled and melted into Sargassum.  I have frozen this sample for Bonnie Monteleone who is currently researching litter and Sargassum.  (yes, not only do I have trash in my garage, but I now have trash in my freezer  too!)

I was reminded that we are like the "peaceful warrior" when we do good by others, the ocean and the earth.

The final items I picked up on the beach were 4 plastic bags.

I bid farewell to our beautiful beach for the day....

...and went to the parking lot where I used the plastic bags to collect the trash there.  I left the trash from the parking lot by the trash can and placed the recyclables in the appropriate containers that have been donated by Surfrider, so these items are not tallied on this blog.

From the beach, not the parking lot, I collected 4 bags of trash including the following items:

55 cigarette butts
4 plastic bags
4 articles of clothing including 2 tank tops and 2 socks
4 ziplock bags
9 toys
18 bottle caps
1 can
1 glass bottle
21 straws
6 plastic lids
1 flip flop shoe
1 rain umbrella
5 fireworks pieces
3 balloons
1 beach chair back---the canvas part only
2 pairs of sunglasses
1 pair of swimming goggles
3 plastic utensils
2 plastic cups
1 plastic Alamance County College Library card
1 red crayon

And at the end of the day, I wish I was as relaxed as Sasha Bear, our newest rescued cat.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weeks 3, 4, 5, & 6 from Nancy Faye Craig in zone 4

Nancy Faye Craig called in the following report stating that she did believe our beach is cleaner thus far this year:

week 3: 1 bag including 1 can and 1 glass bottle

week 4:  1 bag including 2 cans

week 5:  2 bags

week 6:  1 bag including 1 can

Nancy will be volunteering helping people in our neighboring state to repair housing for the Gullah culture.  Yes, Nancy Faye Craig still gets on top of roofs to help repair these houses.  Is that amazing or what???  She has been doing this for many years.

Nancy Faye Craig

Saturday, June 23, 2012

week 8: Celia encounters the "Red Cup Family" in Zone 1

I walked Zone 1 for Jackie House, Saturday, June 23rd.  I'm seeing fewer and fewer cigarette butts and Zone 1 was actually pretty clean except for the mess the Red Cup Family left.  Since we don't have trees for them to crave their initials into, they left their shirt, flip flops, orange underwear and Red Cups to let us know how much they love Wrigthsville Beach. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

week 8: Rick and Jill report on two zones and the beautiful day

Hi Ginger,
It was a beautiful morning on the beach today.
Here is the trash report:
Tuesday 6/19, Zone 4: 1 full grocery bag
Friday 6/22, Zone 0: 1 full grocery bag
Have a great weekend!


Week 8: Clem finds 3 plastic bags on the beach in zone 5

Hi Ginger, from today. Clem
3 beer cans
2 beer bottles
1 Yuengling 6-pack cardboard carrier
1 O’Neill reef walker shoe
1 pr sunglasses
1 baseball hat
1 t-shirt
1 beach towel
3 Wal-Mart bags
1 Champagne cork

p.s. plus lots of small assorted trash (paper & plastic) too small to individually detail/list

Nicole has an "iccckkkkk!" type of day in zone 2

Last Friday June 15th Zone 2:  I collected two plastic grocery bags full of trash.  I found two plastic grocery bags in the sand, caught a crow throwing trash out of a garbage can, mistakenly picked up a loose condom with my bare hand (icckkkkk!!!!!), picked up two styrofoam cups being used as decoration on a sand castle that was within the tideline, quite a few Holiday Inn cups, some kid's toe shoes, and lots of normal stuff.

Celia cleans the beach and wonders: "what is the giant rush?"

I walked for Terri Littlejohn, Zone 1, 6/19 and Michelle Leonard, Zone 0, 6/20.  Both zones were remarkably clean.  I picked up two balloons, the usual plastic tops/bottles, and several tubes of lip balm products.  I found two giant cans of beer in the dunes, both half full.  My guess is that half way through the giant cans of beer, the consumers were in a 'giant rush' to get somewhere else and left the beer behind.  What the 'giant rush' was is anyone's guess.....

Total of two Keep It Clean canvas bags both days. 

Increasing litter in Zone 3

Wowee, aren't we fortunate to live in such a beautiful place?

This morning was gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky. Of course with summer's official arrival and the recent hot temps, there was also an increase in the amount of litter, compared to past weeks. Today I collected a full reusable bag of litter, along with an additional pile from around Johnnie Mercer's Pier that I took right to the trash cans. There was a lot of garbage around the pier, including the lid of a styrofoam cooler that had been broken into chunks and strewn about. The total amount that I picked up was equal to 5 plastic grocery bags full.

Early this morning, there were already several surfers hanging out in the water, so I opted not to pick up chairs, towels, or flip flops unless I could tell completely for certain that they had been left there overnight, such as this mangled green chair that I found right at beach access #32.

Garbage that I collected today included 20 plastic bottle caps, 68 cigarette butts, 2 tubes of chapstick, 2 styrofoam cups, 4 plastic cups, 6 plastic straws, 2 empty cigarette boxes, 8 Capri Sun/Kool Aid Jammers drink pouches, 1 stray flip flop, and 1 children's Croc shoe. Additional trash included lots of candy and Lance cracker wrappers, fast food wrappings from Sonic, paper wrist bands (perhaps given at a local bar?), ponytail holders, tags from Wings purchases, and lots of wipes and plastic bags. Recyclables and reusables included 3 plastic sand toys, 1 beer bottle, 8 soda/beer cans, and 7 plastic water bottles.

I'm keeping all my fingers crossed for some more turtle tracks soon!!



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

week 8---Nancy reports from zone 2

Hi Ginger,
I walked Zone 2 on Tuesday and collected 1 bag of trash.  My findings included 2 straws, 5 sand shovels, 2 used band-aids (picked up with one of the sand shovels; they do come in handy for picking up the grossest of items off the beach!), 2 broken sand pail handles, 2 pairs of goggles, lots of plastic wrappers, one sock, and one really nice insulated tumbler.  
No turtle tracks were to be found anywhere!  :(
Have a great week,

week 8--Joy keeps it clean in zone 5

So I don't forget this week I am writing before my day gets busy. 
The beach so far has been relatively clean except for the abundance of cigarette butts.  Today, though, I picked up two grocery bags full of miscellaneous plastic and trash.  In my collection was 5 cans (one unopened beer) a large mylar balloon, a disgusting dirty diaper and lots of bottle tops and candy wrappers.  Again there was a lot of trash from the Oceanic (straw wrappers, sugar packets, etc.)
Also one cabana skelton left which I called in.
Happy hunting

Kym finds treasures and a shark in zone 5

I picked up one large plastic bag of trash Sunday in Zone 5. Scored havana flops and aviator sunglasses!. Also a baby shark complete with hook, line & sinker :(
Thanks Ginger!

Doss walks with a different partner in zone 0!

My usual walking partners could not walk with me this morning, so Nancy was kind enough to walk with me. Nancy picked up two buckets of trash. Bottles, paper and a balloon.

Fahey and Doss

Nancy Fahey continues to help walk and sub and keep track of smoking trends on other beaches

Hi Ginger,
I walked Zone 3 this past Thursday, June 14th.  During my walk, I collected four grocery store sized bags of trash.  This consisted mostly of plastic bottles, cups, cans and plastic wrappers, as well as one earring, and three pairs of shoes.  I also collected one towel off the beach.  
Today, Monday, June 18th, I the great pleasure of walking Zone 0 with Dr. Doss.  We collected two bags of trash consisting mostly of plastic bottles, cups, wrappers & bags, one child's flip flop and a large chunk of styrofoam.  We also found a huge, huge hole in front of the lifeguard stand at Shell Island Resort.  Two children dug the hole yesterday, according to two gentlemen out on the beach at sunrise this morning.  The hole is very near the tideline as you could tell some water had washed into it.  I'm going to notify the town since the hole is so huge, they may need to send public works onto the beach to fill it in.
I thought you would be interested to know that smoking is prohibited on the beaches of Barnstable in Cape Cod, MA (see photos).  Also, I found it very interesting that the state of MA charges a deposit on PLASTIC bottles of 5 cents each, which is returned when the bottles are returned to the store.  Awesome idea, mates!  :)
Have a great week!

week 7--Beautiful Sunrise & Mystery solved for Ginger in zone 4

This week John was out of town on Monday, so I walked by myself.  I just knew that I would find tracks, but I was wrong.  However, I was rewarded with a very beautiful sunrise.

I started my day at Crystal Pier, which I am happy to say was quite clean compared to most mornings.  The trash cans in this area were all overflowing and the birds were having fun taking trash out of the cans.  I really hope the town will eventually purchase cans with lids so that the wind and birds cannot remove the trash from the cans.  We make this suggestion every year and hopefully it will eventually come to pass.

I picked up at least 4 bags of trash.  Some of that included:

7 plastic bottles
18 straws
18 bottle caps
3 random shoes
1 ziplock bag
15 toys
2 styrofoam cups
1 unopened beer can
42 cigarette butts
3 plastic lids
4 balloons or pieces of balloons
3 panty lines (seriously, 3?!  What is going on?!)
1 plastic fork and 1 plastic spoon
1 medicine dropper
1 towel
1 t-shirt

I often pick up plastic "phoenix-shaped" pieces that I had guessed was the top of a kids juice drink, but I was never sure, until today.  There in the wrack line, someone had left the top and the "koolaid" plastic bottle!  Now I know---mystery has been solved.   Wonder if Koolaid would be happy that its bottle tops are littered on the beach?  Wonder if they would be responsible enough to make an industry change?

The wrack line which seems to be composed of mainly reeds is starting to collect a lot more trash and cigarette butts as the tides wash in and out and as we have more beach goers on the beach.  Sadly, many of the items in the wrack line are plastic one time use/disposable items that are truly not necessary such as this plastic lid.

I saw many people on the beach today who were thankful for my efforts (that is always nice).  One mother and daughter asked if I was picking up trash.  They then proceeded to tell me that they had removed a mylar balloon from the water line and placed it in the wrack line until they came back to get it at the end of their walk.  This gave me an opportunity to thank them and to educate about how marine life mistake balloons for food.  They were really concerned about the entanglement potential as the balloon had a long string attached.
Mylar balloon with long string

yellow balloon

Once I was finished with zone 4, I headed to Access 18 in Zone 3 to pick up trash.  I did this because John and I adopted this Access and we clean it once a month.  I have been really neglectful in getting my reports to the town, but will try to do better.

At Access 18 I picked up another 4 bags of trash in about 15 minutes.  It was crazy.  
Here is some of my loot from Access 18

5 plastic bottles
11 straws
8 bottle caps
1 very cute elmo water shoe

2 ziplock bags
1 plastic bag
14 toys
1 styrofoam cup
92 cigarette butts
2 plastic lids
1 plastic spoon, 1 plastic fork, 2 plastic knives (all one time use products)
3 aluminum cans
1 glass bottle with koozie attached
1 mesh net that toys come in
1 sock
1 ladies shirt

...and 2 plastic leis that had been washed in by the tide and was one tangled mess with some evidence of sargassum attached.  I shudder to think about this floating along the gulf stream with sargassum where sea turtle hatchlings and other marine life feed on micro-organisms.

Finally, I was finished picking up trash for the day---or so I thought.

I got on the KIC bike and headed to WB Farmer's Market--I had to stop on my way back and pick up these three plastic bags that were in a ditch. (these will not be counted in the WB trash as they were picked up off-island)