Monday, July 30, 2012

Another 2 weeks for John and Ginger = 11 bags of trash

Yes, that is right.  I have gone another two weeks before updating the blog again!!!!  I do not mean to do that--it just happens sometimes.  But, 11 happens to be my lucky number and in those two weeks, John and I have removed 11 bags of trash from the beach!

Last week (which was week 12 of the season) we collected 4 bags of trash, 2 of which were just bits of paper, plastic and random things that I don't itemize.  However, I am beginning to think that I should start counting chapstick tubes and band aids as we find so many of those.

Here are some of the other things that we found last week:

13 toys or pieces of toys
31 butts (always more, but no time to get them)
2 styrofoam bowls (which is inflated plastic---aaagggghhh)
3 plastic cups
3 shoes
2 hair bows
1 hiar tie
2 ziplock bags
1 plastic bag
1 can
2 plastic bottles
2 balloons (one which was all tangled in the wrack line)

46 plastic bottle caps
1 metal bottle cap
1 sock
1 empty spray bottle of sunscreen
19 straws
1 paint brush (hope they were painting the sunrise!)

Also, while I was working on KIC stuff, I spotted this beautiful butterfly in the tree just outside my window.

Today (July 30, 2012), John and I collected 7 bags of trash plus 1 towel and 3 chairs:

13 toys or toy pieces
25 butts
3 plastic cups
4 shoes (including a nice pair of children's keens---they will be given to my nephew  :-) ).
6 hair ties
1 headband
3 ziplock bags
4 plastic bags
3 cans
11 plastic bottles
1 balloon
40 plastic bottle caps
4 metal bottle caps
4 clothing articles including 2 socks, 1 bandanna, 1 pair of children's pants
1 cloth napkin
39 straws
2 glass wine bottles
3 plastic lids
3 plastic eating utensils

Foxy Cat seemed to dislike the trash pile as much as me!
Today was rainy, so I drove to WB Farmer's Market after our beach cleanup.  But that wasn't the case last week when I rode the KIC Bike to the Market---it was sunny and very very hot!!!  So, I stopped in SurfBerry for a cool treat---coconut froyo with fruit topping---yummy!   Although SurfBerry uses "compostable" spoons, I carried my own.

Nicole reports from zone 2

Zone 2 Friday July 16th-     1 grocery bag of trash.  Mainly small pieces of clear plastic.

Zone 2 Friday July 6th-     2  grocery bags of trash.  plastic bottles, fireworks, cans, juice box straws, etc...

Red sky in the morning........

Hey Ginger,
2 very full grocery bags today including:
many plastic bottles
beer cans (stuffed between rocks by USCG station)
many plastic cups w/ and w/o straws
2 paper Pinot Grigot (mmmm, wine in a box)
Fisherman bait trash
5 or 6 Walmart and other trash bag
1 plastic beach toy shovel
I also noticed a banded oystercatcher at the sanctuary separately reported to Lindsay.
Amazing lightning storm this morning – fortunately at Kure Beach – followed by a very red sunrise (Red sky in morning, sailors take warning – in fact, there were strong winds today).
Lastly, I was pleased to see the beach tent frame reported last week is now gone. 

Rick and Jill like clean tourists!

Hi Ginger,

It was an absolutely beautiful morning on the beach today.  And, very clean tourists to make it even better!
Tuesday, July 17, Zone 4: 1 grocery bag
Friday, July 20, Zone 0: only 2 cups, 2 straws and one chip bag
Have a great weekend!


You can now get credit in zone 2 :-)

Hi Ginger,
    I walked zone 2 this morning (Sat.) and found no tracks Sad smile.  I collected 1 1/2 walmart bags of trash, but I did make a lucky find.  When I dumped my first bag into the trash barrel behind the hotel and turned to walk back out toward the tide line, I saw something sticking out of the sand a few yards out.  It was a credit card!  I took it into the hotel breakfast room and gave it to the hostess.  I sure hope the owner was a hotel guest, because that’s definitely the last thing you’d want to lose on the beach.


New Volunteer, Amber cleans zone 2 and finds treasure

Hi Ginger!

Nancy just told me about the blogsite and I wanted to share with you today and yesterday were particularly trashy days in Zone 2 - a lot of plastic ziplock bags and individual chip wrappers/candy wrappers in the dunes, many juice box straws and straw covers, and as usual, too many plastic bottle caps everywhere. (5 bags of trash total) Yesterday I found a piece of sea glass though and an awesome shell this morning.  And as usual, a spectacular sunrise!

Protect the Sea Turtles!

Celia finds more towels at Shell Island and "Planned Pollution"

I was sub July 17th and July 25, Zone Zero and Zone One.  Nothing exciting either time.  Collected two Keep It Clean canvas bags of trash both days.  I always see piles of towels in front of Shell Island Resort.  

Attaching a photo of what I consider Planned Pollution.  No one cleans up their fireworks (except for the Turtle Walkers) and this particular kind is double pollution and double dangerous for animals.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Fireworks with parachutes always land as litter as do all other fireworks that don't get picked up.

Michelle finds shark remains and bottled fish in zone 0

Good Morning,

It is July 25th and in Zone 0 I found a shark that had been left be the tide.  Just a few feet away from him I noticed a plastic 33 oz Deer Park water bottle full of sand (I thought).  When I picked up the bottle to pour out the sand, out came several fish.  I couldn't believe when some of them started moving.  Fortunately, I had several plastic solo cups, so I picked up all of the fish (5 dead and 4 still alive) and rushed them to the ocean.  It reminded me of the extremely moving presentation that Capt. Charles Moore gave to us at Topsail last year.  

Maybe because of the storm last night but there was more litter in Zone 0 than usual.  I picked up 1 1/2 bags of trash including, 4 plastic cups, 1 straw, lots of pieces of paper, 2 diapers, 3 cigarette packs, several plastic baggies, and 6 beach towels.

No turtle tracks, but a few lucky fish are back at sea.  Keep cool and enjoy the day.  Michelle

A pictorial reminder from Clem of why we "Keep It Clean"

Ginger, 2 full grocery bags* + large beach umbrella.  You may find the below of interest which I pulled off the web yesterday.  I had been a NOAA volunteer for 2 years, but my trips were offshore NC, not to Marine Sanctuary in NW Hawaii.  Then again, looking at the below, I’m not sure I would have wanted to go there.  The litter is not from people directly, but rather indirectly dumped on shore from ocean. Clem
*Numerous plastic bottles, large plastic vodka bottle, 5 large red plastic cups.
NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette arrived back in its homeport of Honolulu on Saturday after a month in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (NWHI). The team of 17 scientists collected nearly 50 metric tons of marine debris, which threatens monk seals, sea turtles and other marine life in the coral reef ecosystem, in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI).

Week 13 Rick and Jill find evidence of "clean" beachgoers in zones 0 & 4.

Following is our trash report.  Fortunately - the clean tourists seem to be in town - at least on Tues and Fri in Zones 4 and 0.
Tues 7/24 Zone 4 - 1/2 grocery bag - just a few drink bottles
Fri 7/27 Zone 0 - 1/2 grocery bag - a can, 2 drink bottles, several drink caps
Have a great weekend! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday, July 27 in Zone 3

 It was very hot and steamy this morning at Wrightsville Beach. Fortunately, the sand pipers were there to remind me of the best way to cool off on a summer day.

Today I collected a fairly average amount of litter, totaling 3/4 of my reusable bag, which is equal to 3 plastic grocery bags. The tide appeared to have come up very high the night before, and I always get a little bit concerned in this case, because it makes me think that a lot of the trash has probably already been swept away. Plus, there is always a lot that washes up in the wrack line. At first glance, this small patch may look like just sea grass, but when I bent down, I pulled 8 cigarette butts, just out of this one very small patch.

I have also noticed a great number of these Camel Crush cigarette butts. Someone should really tell these folks that "crush" does not mean "crush into the sand."

Today, my collected litter and recyclables included:
- 2 pairs of flip flops
- 2 stray sandals
- 157 cigarette butts
- 1 pair sunglasses
- 3 Rita's cups
- 2 aluminum Bud Light bottles
- 1 glass Bud Light bottles
- 2 plastic sand toys
- 2 plastic bubble wands
- 11 plastic water bottles
- 2 balloons
- 1 Red Bull can
- 1 plastic McDonald's cup
- 1 Kool Aid Jammers drink pouch
- 25 plastic bottle caps
- 27 plastic straws, including one very long neon yellow straw
- 9 plastic utensils

As always, I also picked up many ziplock bags and shreds of plastic.


Friday, July 20, 2012

An interesting surprise on Friday in Zone 3

This morning, I walked out onto Wrightsville Beach at beach access #32 right at 6:00 am. It was still dim outside. The sun was just starting to rise, and lacing the sky with bright pink clouds. As I looked down the beach, I saw what I thought was someone fishing; it looked like he was surf casting at the edge of the water. Then as I began to walk, I heard mysterious music coming from somewhere. It was very eery, because it sounded like the music was floating towards me over the waves. I looked around to see if it was coming from a boat. That was when I realized the man was not fishing-- he was playing the bagpipes.

Well, that is certainly the only time I have ever seen someone play bagpipes in the ocean, so I stopped and listened for a while. The bagpiper was very friendly and let me take his picture. He asked if I was picking up litter, and when I told him I was, he very nicely listened as I told him about Wrightsville Beach-- Keep It Clean, and the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project (I had my WBSTP tee shirt on). He said that he lives in a part of Louisiana that is also a loggerhead nesting grounds, and his dad lives on Topsail, so it was cool that he totally understood the connection between picking up litter and helping to preserve and protect the sea turtles' home for them. It was nice to talk to him, and although I wonder if some of the nearby residents were not as thrilled about their 6 am bagpipe alarm clock, I enjoyed listening to his music.

Today I also talked to another gentleman who asked about my shirt and was very happy to hear that we currently have 3 sea turtle nests at Wrightsville Beach. The tee shirt is such a nice conversation starter with people on the beach, I wonder if we could get Keep It Clean tee shirts someday as well?

Overall, I am happy to say that today was not a particularly trashy day in zone 3. There were fairly normal amounts of cigarette butts and assorted plastic litter, such as Ziplock bags and candy wrappers, but there was less large litter, such as towels, clothing items, flip flops, and sand toys. I filled half of my reusable bag, which is equal to two plastic grocery bags. My husband saw on the news yesterday that some Verizon employees participated in a beach clean up yesterday that began at the Oceanic Pier, so I wonder if they spread out, or made it down as far as Johnie Mercer's?

Items that I picked up today included:
-1 diaper
-4 plastic sand toys
-4 plastic soda/water bottles
-2 soda/beer cans
-1 balloon
-1 unused tampon (still in wrapping)
-1 tube of chapstick
-1 nail clipper
-1 cigarette box
-4 plastic cups
-1 styrofoam cup
-16 plastic bottle caps
-1 contact lens case
-11 plastic straws
-6 Capri Sun drink packets

I also picked up a cup full of cigarette butts, but forgot to count them before I threw them away.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Michelle finds 12 towels in zone 0 (Shell Island)

Good Morning,

Zone 0 was beautiful and clean with the exception of a large hole, a few scraps of paper, and 12 towels.  No tracks this Wed., but so happy we have three nests on our beach:)

KIC volunteers have consistently reported lots of towels left on the beach.  These towels are apparently being handed out by Shell Island Resort.   Kim picked up over 50 towels a few weeks ago.  Towels and other fabric/clothing items that get washed out to sea become part of the food chain for animals.  Remnants of clothing have been found in the stomach of a stranded whale.  You can read of one such account in Capt. Charlie Moore's book, Plastic Ocean.

week 12-- Celia reports from zone 0

I was a substitute walker for Vickie in Zone Zero today.  Not much trash (one canvas Keep It Clean bag), the usual towels in front of Shell Island Resort, no Sea Turtle Nests, but I did find this 'nest'....

Thank You Robert and Sherry for removing 35 bags of trash from Zone 3!

New volunteers Robert and Sherry have spent a total estimated time of 10 hours cleaning up zone 3 in the last few weeks.  You will be amazed at what they have found.  I have to thank them over and over for all they have done for our beach.  Since they are not looking for sea turtle tracks, they have had more time to focus on items such as cigarette butts, 1392 to be exact!!!!

Here are their finds for 10 hours of work:

21 cans
5 balloons
3 bed linens
1 boogie board
139 bottle caps
4 chairs
40 toys
1392 butts
50 clothing items
4 condoms
1 dog poop
5 feminine hygiene items
2 wads of fishing line including one pole
5 glass bottles
27 plastic bags
131 plastic bottles
65 plastic cups
20 shoes
133 straws
9 towels
1 umbrella
1 unopened PBR (pint size!)
13 ziplock bags

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Two weeks from John and Ginger in zone 4

Yes, it has taken me two weeks to get my trash reports together---yikes, but no worries, I'm on it!!!

I have to say that in general, it seems the last two weeks have been cleaner in zone 4, but we are still finding lots of stray pieces of plastic.  If you wonder why I am so concerned about the effects of plastic in our ocean and in our environment in general, you may want to view (or re-view) this video by Captain Charles Moore.  When I discovered this video a few years ago, it forever changed my life about plastic.

I also just purchased Beth Terry's book about how she went plastic-free.  I frequently visit her website to get plastic-free ideas, but I find having her book is more helpful b/c she includes the research on plastic and reminds us of why we need to reduce our plastic consumption.

First of all, let me say that the sunrises on WB are just amazing!

week 10-July 9, 2012

week 10--July 9, 2012

week 10--July 9, 2012

Pre-dawn surf.  Week 11- July 16, 2012

week 11- July 16, 2012
We collected 5 bags of trash each of the two weeks (10 bags total).  While we don't focus on picking up butts because we don't want to miss any turtle tracks, I can't help but pick them up when they are right in front of me. Unfortunately, I found way too many during week 10 and took lots of pictures that look like this one:

Here is some of what we collected in week 10:

7 plastic bottles
54 butts
4 cans
2 flip flops
3 plastic cups
1 styrofoam cup
2 cloth dinner napkins
1 stainless steel fork
1 plastic spoon
10 bottle caps
2 beer bottle caps
1 plastic keg lid
3 other plastic lids
10 toys or toy pieces
1 plastic wall socket cover (on the beach???)
1 pair of reading glasses

1 compostable cup (not compostable in the ocean)
18 straws

1 towel
1 plastic kite that was nailed to Crystal Pier
1 plastic nose clip
2 Ziploc bags
1 plastic bag

Here is some of what we found during our week 11 clean up:

1 plastic flosser
1 cigarette lighter
1 glass cup

1 swim flipper
2 plastic bottles
33 cigarettes/butts

1 can
1 flip flop
3 plastic cups
1 plastic spoon
22 bottle caps
2 plastic lids
13 toys or toy pieces
1 pair cheap sunglasses
1 1/2 pair of swim goggles
1 compostable cup (not compostable in the ocean)
26 straws
4 Ziploc bags
1 plastic bag

Can you find the plastic bag?

1 belt
1 sock
1 torn Hooters t-shirt
2 bikini top inserts (different sizes and different colors---just like us!)

We also came across an alligator and one dead cock roach!

Monday, July 16, 2012

week 11--Abrons, Butler and Doss continue to find fireworks in zone 0

We picked up a small grocery bag of trash. Two or three plastic bottles, 1 beer can and many small scraps of fireworks.

Abrons, Butler and Doss

Kim finds 8 pairs of flip flops and a youth group "keeping it clean" on Sunday

Name : Kim Meyer
Zone : 1
Date Walked : Sunday, 7/15/2012
# Grocery Bags : 3

Lots of plastic today that I took to recycling : bottles, sunglasses, spoons, toys, straws; about 8 pairs of flip-flops; parts of 2 balloons and one inflated balloon.

After walking and cleaning up zone 1 I went down to access 31 to lay out on the beach (first time this summer!).  Around 10:00 AM I noticed about 30 kids with garbage bags and gloves being instructed to sweep the beach 1/2 going towards Johnny Mercers and the other half towards Crystal.  I asked one of the young girls who they were with.  She said that they were actually from all over (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, etc) and they were going up and down the east coast as part of a Christian youth group.  Some of the kids were picking up trash and then a smaller second group formed that were interviewing beach-goers and asking people questions about their religious beliefs.

I noticed that they were all moving at a pretty good pace.   I assume they weren't finding too much trash since we'd all already made our rounds.  But it was good to see a large number of young people taking the time to help out.  Hopefully they were a little impressed by how clean the beach was! ; )   

week 11: Rick and Jill find a false crawl in zone 4

Hi Ginger,
Thank you for letting us know about Masonboro.  I am so very saddened that you saw and experienced this.  But hopefully we can do something to change it.
Following are the trash reports for this week.  Much better than the week of the 4th.
Tuesday, July 10, Zone 4 - 1 full grocery bag (plus a false crawl : )
Friday, July 13, Zone 0 - 1/2 grocery bag - just odds and ends

The "masonboro" information that Jill is referring to was an email that I sent to the KIC Volunteers.  I am including that email below.  ~Ginger

HI All,

I hope you are well and enjoyed your 4th of July.  I have updated the blog and encourage you to have a look.  Click here to see what you all are finding on the beach.  There have been lots of fireworks remnants reported including huge boxes of fireworks.  We know that fireworks contain plastics in both the container and the explosives, so this is not good for our beach or our wildlife.  I have to give a special thanks to Clem who picked UP an estimated 50 bags of trash from zone 5 the day after July 4th.  You can read his blog here.

I went to Masonboro for about 20 -30 minutes on the 4th to see what all "the fuss" is about and I was absolutely astounded at what I witnessed.  The island was covered in people who were completely drunk.  Many could not walk and had to be carried to the boats.  When I stood still, people kept stumbling into me and did not even realize it b/c they were so drunk.  We witnessed one fight that seemed "friendly", but I understand there were others that were not so "friendly".  But the worse for me, was the amount of trash that was floating in the tide line.  I immediately started picking it up.  Yes, was on the island and picking up trash as well and supplying trash bags, but there was no way to keep up with it all.  I picked up cans, plastic cups, stray flip flops, plastic balls, sandwich bags, bottle caps, and clothing articles all floating in the tide line.  I do not even want to think about the articles that had already been washed into the sound.  It was very sad and is still sad to me as I recount the experience in this email to you.  I honestly could not take one step without picking up trash from the tide line.

Many of the intoxicated people were being shuttled back to the south end of WB where the problems were continuing.

I applaud for their efforts because without them, the island would have been completely trashed, but in my humble opinion the crowd and the trash was too much for this one agency to manage.  Mayor Cignotti also witnessed the event and you can read his comments in the Lumina News article here.

Also on our blog, you will want to visit Susan's post to read about Caren Cooper who is writing a book on citizen science.  She interviewed Nancy Fahey, Susan, and me during her visit.  I do not have any detalis about the book yet, but I find it exciting that WBSTP and KIC could be featured in her book.

Also, Bonnie Monteleone has been featured in the following video.  Bonnie is a friend of KIC and she used some of our beach trash to help spread the message about plastic pollution in the form of art.  Please view Bonnie's video as the message is very meaningful and it is a great reminder of why we started doing this project 4 years ago.  Also, please share Bonnie's video with your friends and contacts.  Part of her mission is to help spread this important message and to educate others on the importance of keeping our ocean healthy.  Bonnie has, and continues to work very hard and tirelessly on her project---let's help her by sharing her video.  

Last, but not least I went to Carolina Beach last night to attend their town council meeting because they were having a public hearing regarding a possible smoking ban on the beach.  And guess what????  The town council members listened to the citizens!!!!  No, there is not a ban in place yet, but it looks like it will likely happen!  CB will be drafting a smoking ban ordinance to discuss in their August meeting.  I will keep you posted.   I respect if everyone does not support such a ban as I know we all have different opinions.  One reason I support the ban is because of the sheer number of butts that I see and collect from the beach.  The filters in the butts contain plastic that we know does not biodegrade and ends up in our Oceans.

The smoking ban issue at WB will be determined in November when the voters go to the polls.

As a final friendly reminder, please send in your reports if you have not yet done so.  I too have not yet tallied my trash from Monday, but hope to get to it before next Monday :-D

Good Work Everyone.

Remember:  We depend on the Ocean, and the Ocean depends on us.  Keep It Clean!

week 11---Clem continues to "keep it clean" in zone 5.

Hey Ginger,
From this morning:
1 pair of women’s leather sandals
2 beach chairs & umbrella (obviously left overnight on beach since I encountered in the dark at 0515 + they had collected rainwater)
1 freezer type bag full of assorted lunch trash
2 plastic bottles
1 soda can
Assorted other trash totaling (I found 3 roses at tide line – what do you do w/ those?)
With the exception of the beach chairs & umbrella, call it 1 grocery bag.
Incidentally, from the lifeguard chair at access 36 I can see a metal frame (perhaps like the one John fished out of the ocean??) – fully erected and on beach but no covering?
Have a great day!

Celia finds tracks in zone 0!!!

I walked Zone Zero for Michelle Leonard on July 11 and lucky for me, I spotted Turtle Tracks instead of trash!  Now, of course, I expect to find tracks every time I walk, but alas, I walked Zone One for Stephanie Mettitt on July 12 and sadly, just found trash.  Nothing particularly interesting, but I did find a nice beach ball for some kids I know.  One Keep It Clean Canvas Bag of trash.  cbj

You can see the news story about our nest here