Saturday, July 14, 2012

Week 11, Zone 3, Friday the 13th

The sky was just amazing yesterday morning at Wrightsville Beach!

Overall, the litter in zone 3 yesterday was vastly improved over last week. Of course, I expected this now that the week of Independence Day has come and gone. And I also suspect that the rain over the past week kept some folks away from the beaches. The two areas with the most litter were around Johnnie Mercer's Pier, and behind the hotel that is at beach access #30. (This is very typical.)

The total amount of litter that I collected yesterday was 3/4 of my reusable bag, which is equal to 3 plastic grocery bags. I picked up many Ziplock bags today, and lots of somewhat indistinguishable tattered bits of plastic. There were also still a lot of paper and plastic fragments from fireworks, which were unfortunately way too small to really pick up.

Items included:
-1 stray flip flop
- 2 fireworks
- 6 plastic sand toys
- 2 beer bottles
- 2 plastic cups
- 2 plastic water bottles
- 4 soda/beer cans
- 11 plastic bottle caps
- 2 pairs of broken sunglasses
- 3 plastic utensils
- 64 cigarette butts
- 21 plastic straws
-1 mylar Happy Birthday balloon (This still had some air in it and was right at the water line. I watched 3 people step right over it without picking it up. Very disappointing.)

This week I decided to try to chat with the early morning metal detector treasure hunters. I notice guys with metal detectors every single week, and I always notice them simply stepping over litter. I have often thought that as long as they are there, and picking things up out of the sand, they might as well pick up the trash as they go along. They would be really good people to have on our side.

So yesterday I thought I'd subtly approach them about it to see how it would go.  There were two different men with metal detectors near access #30, which was perfect because there is always a lot of trash there. So with the first guy, I approached him and began picking up trash literally right next to him. I smiled and made eye contact, so he picked up a beer bottle, placed it in my bag, and said, "you're doing a good job." I thought that was nice.

The second guy was doing his metal detecting thang when I saw him walk right over a plastic toy truck that was broken into two pieces. So I picked the pieces up, extended my hand to him, smiled and asked, "did you drop your truck?" He looked at me with a very confused face and asked, "what?" So I smiled again and repeated myself, "did you drop your truck?" He responded, "No! I am just looking for rings! And coins!" So I guess you could say that the second guy did not get my hint.

I also spotted a very beautiful blue crab (which sadly was deceased and just moments later made quite a meal for a large seagull).


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