Sunday, September 21, 2014

KIC End of Year Pizza Party!

Every year, KIC has an end of year waste-free pizza party.  That means the food comes in a compostable cardboard box--no plastic packaging.  Volunteers bring their own reusable beverage bottle.  Few beverages are supplied, but the ones that are include a cooler of water and coke in recyclable glass bottles topped with recyclable metal lids in compostable cardboard cartons--not plastic packaging.  Volunteers also come prepared with their own non-disposable plate, non-disposable cutlery, and cloth napkins.  A WASTE-FREE PARTY IS EASY!

This year, Vito's Pizza of WB donated 10 pizzas!  Thank you friends at Vito's.

In 2014 KIC volunteers removed over 525 bags of trash from the beach which included over 11,000 items!  

Since 2009 (6 KIC seasons), we have collected over 3,290.07 bags of trash.  

In those 6 seasons, we have shared data with the town to raise awareness about the litter problem.  We were invited to serve on the WB Cleaner Greener Committee.  We were named 2010 Nancy Faye Craig Volunteer of the Year.  We have presented at the NC Sea Turtle Permit Holder's meeting.  We have presented to school groups, we have mentored senior projects, and we have even provided community service hours. We joined with Ocean Conservancy on a pilot project in 2013---18 other beaches joined this project in 2014.  We were featured during a poster session with Ocean Conservancy at the International Sea Turtle Symposium in 2014 where (I was told) 70 countries were represented.  We have "trashy" items in art sculptures created by Bonnie Monteleone and the Plastic Ocean Project, Inc.  One of Bonnie's art sculptures now hangs in The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital. Most recently we have been instrumental in working with a local business to reduce the distribution of disposable plastic straws! WE VOLUNTEER. WE CARE.  WE KEEP IT CLEAN.

Ginger shows a donated door prize by "Love For Earth"--reusable produce bags.--no plastic.   Kara, who created the reusable produce bags said she started sewing the bags because she had watched a documentary on sea turtles and decided that she would stop using plastic bags.  She found it easy to replace the plastic grocery bag, but the produce bags were more difficult, so she made her own.  I have some of these and they are great.  In the picture, they are folded up, but are much larger than they appear here.  You can go to this link to order your own and shop for  other great items.  I did not know Kara's story until I asked her to donate.  Now, I love the bags even more, if that was even possible!  The items in the background are all items removed from the beach.

Gigi is one of the KIC mascots and here she is guarding the trash.  All of these items, including the deflated balloons hanging on the post, are items that two volunteers removed from their daily walks (16 walks only about 1 mile each).  All the bins are also filled with "trashy" items from these walks as well.  The posters to the left are educational.

Discussing KIC mission, accomplishments and the future.

KIC Volunteer Amber looks at the camera.  She removed 30 bags of trash in just one day!  She is a rock star!

KIC volunteers, Jim and Lucretia are just awesome people.  They also volunteer with Audubon.  

Volunteers enjoying pizza and trashy conversation.

KIC mascot, Gigi was very happy to have her BFF, Belle show up to the party.  They had pizza bones and are likely begging for those in this photo.

KIC volunteers also care for the planet by riding their bikes to the party.

Volunteer, Jeff Loveless wins the coveted glass sea turtle straw.  No plastic straws for us!

WBSTP coordinator, Nancy Fahey wins the produce bags.  

Friends School of Wilmington music teacher and KIC friend, Sarah Howard wins an insulated lunch box donated by WB Parks and Rec. Department.

Drawing the winner for one of the trash grabbers that was donated by volunteer, John Marcucci and his boss at Walex Products.  These grabbers were very coveted items,  especially when speaking of removing dirty diapers from the beach.

Everyone eagerly awaits to see who will be the winner of  one of  the KIC canvas bags donated by WB Parks and Rec.

KIC coordinator, Ginger Taylor wears a blue straw hat that she retrieved from the water way while boating.  The straw hat perfectly matches her new tshirt given to volunteers by Ocean Conservancy for participating in their pilot project of tracking debris on sea turtle nesting beaches.  The pink "Trash Queen" crown was given to Ginger by KIC volunteers, Dick and Linda Chapman.

I am proud to know you KICers.  Thank you so much for all you have accomplished and all you continue to do.

Peace and Clean Oceans,

Beach Sweep with Friends School of Wilmington

August 28th and 29th

KIC was honored to talk to the students at Friends School of Wilmington about the importance of taking care of our coastal environment.  The kids were so brilliant with their comments and questions and so full of compassion for our planet.  As KIC volunteer, Celia Jones would say, "The kids are Alright!"  

Students were amazed at the number of cigarette butts found littered on the beach and was surprised to hear that WB actually has a smoking ban.  Their young minds wondered why people would smoke on the beach when they are not allowed to do so.

These kids are rock stars and they will change the world!

In conversation with their music teacher, Sarah Howard---the experience of counting and sorting trash has been eye opening as to how much litter is actually on the beach.  Ms. Howard now has the fire to continue this effort and the kids will continue beach cleanups through October.  Ms. Howard is "Alright" too!

        KIC volunteer, Ginger Taylor with FSOW teacher, Sarah Howard and her awesome kids!

Here is the list of debris the kids removed from our shores:

Wrightsville Beach Cleanup
Friends School of Wilmington
August 28th & 29th
Zone 5 & 3

1. Bottle caps – 130
2. Cigarettes – 600
3. Balloons, rubber items – 11
4. Hard Plastic Items (kids toys, combs, zip ties) – 22
5. Straws – 50
6. Hair ties – 16
7. Styrofoam – 24
8. Plastic Utensils – 16
9. Rope/String – 19
10. Fishing Line – 18 pieces
11. Wood Remnants - 22
12. Water/Beer/Wine bottles – 9
13. Pieces of Glass – 11
14. Food Remnants – 22
15. Clothing (shirts, a shoe, towel) – 4
16. Paper items (wrappers, bags, fireworks) – 83
17. Bandages – 15
18. Plastic Debris (straw covers, plastic bags, random plastic objects) – 300
19. Metal objects (beer caps, nails, wire) - 9

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Last walk of the season, but definitely not the last walk.

 August 25, 2014--zone 4

This is the last Monday that we will be patrolling the beach by foot in search of sea turtle nests.  It is bittersweet.  It is not easy to get up early every Monday morning and then come home to sort trash and then go to work.  But the sunrise and the salt air and the ocean speaking is always worth it.

It has been rainy of late, in fact it has rained for much of August; and we did not have a lot of trash today.  We did; however, spot an alligator!

Other finds included:
8 butts
32 food wrappers
33 bottle caps
12 plastic lids
5 straws/stirrers
1 plastic spoon
1 fishing buoy
1 rope
1 cigar tip
9 fireworks
4 plastic bottles                                            
2 cans
3 ziploc bags
1 plastic cup
2 foam cups
1 unopened condom
1 shoe
7 toys
2 bandaids
1 battery
1 silica gel pack
1 wine cork

Kahuna did not find the alligator quite so amusing.

Gigi enjoyed yet another tennis ball.

Foxy observed from her post on the steps.

Ringo was happy to have Gigi's bed all to himself while everyone else was outside sorting trash.
Peace and Clean Oceans.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Farewell, summer

Friday, August 15, zone 0

August 15 was a pinch-yourself-it's-so-beautiful kind of morning at Wrightsville Beach. The sunrise was absolutely gorgeous, and the seabirds were out fishing and enjoying the perfect weather and cool breeze.

My litter pickup for the day included:
-1 jump rope
-1 plastic bottle
-1 can
-1 granola bar wrapper
-1 cigarette butt
-4 ponytail holders
-1 straw
-1 pair of glasses
-1 pile of misc wipes and plastic debris
-1 hat
-2 plastic shovels

Friday, August 22, zone 0

I thought of the words "Red sky at morning, sailor's warning" on August 22. As I began to walk along the beach at the high tide line, I noticed dolphins swimming peacefully nearby. Paddleboarders paused to watch them glide past. They sure are hard to get a good photo of, but I always feel so lucky to see them. The morning was completely still, with no wind at all and very few waves, so the conditions were perfect to spot their fins and shimmering backs emerging from the water.

As I continued walking, a man with a camera set up on a tripod called out to me, "Excuse me, have you ever seen dolphins here before?"
"Yes," I answered. "Actually I saw some just a few minutes ago!"
The man exclaimed, "I saw them, too!" and I just smiled because I felt like I could read his mind. Every time I see wildlife at the beach, I feel like I want to share it with someone, but I am usually by myself. The man with the camera was alone, too, and I could tell he was just so excited to tell someone about those gorgeous dolphins.

I found slightly more trash in zone 0 than usual, although still not nearly as much as I collect in other areas of the beach, like around the piers. My litter pickup for the day included:
-1 plastic water bottle
-1 beer bottle
-1 plastic cup
-8 cigarette butts
-1 pair underwear
-1 rag
-1 plastic bubblegum container
-1 broken toy shovel
-1 straw
-2 plastic bottle caps
-2 candy wrappers
-1 ziplock bag
-1 piece metal
-1 pair sunglasses
-1 pile misc plastic scraps

It was also a good day for treasure hunting; the ocean offered up some  interesting shells and pieces of sea glass.

Friday, August 29, zone 0

I could not help but feel wistful on August 29, knowing that it was Labor Day weekend and the "unofficial" end of summer. Every year I console myself with the fact that there is another good month or so of warm ocean temperatures, and a lovely, mild autumn here on the coast. (And yet I am still sad to see summer go!)

My husband Jeff joined me for my last litter pickup of the summer season and was a willing pawn in my staging of silly photos.

Our litter total for the day included:
-3 plastic cups
-1 flip flop
-1 pen
-1 mesh toy bag
-1 ponytail holder
-2 paper towels
-1 chewing tobacco tin
-1 straw
-1 plastic knife
-1 plastic spoon
-1 cigarette butt
-1 metal bottle cap
-1 plastic bottle cap
-1 tag
-misc assorted plastic wrappers


Monday, August 18, 2014

"KIC" the disposable plastic habit!

August 18, 2014

Today I walked the beach by myself.  It was a very muggy and hazy morning with the noseeums in full force!  I saw Padrina, another volunteer, at the end of our walk, where zones 3 & 4 meet, and she said the same.  No matter---the sunrise is always beautiful.

The ocean was so calm that it looked like a lake.

It felt like there was a lot of trash today, but when I got home and sorted it, it was about the same amount as usual; thus, I concluded that it only felt like more because I cleaned the zone alone.  :-)  As I've quoted my friend Bonnie before,  "Many hands make light work".

Sometimes, late night visitors will make use of the Blockade Runner beach chairs.  Beside this chair I found a pair of lacy panties and tie up shoes along with a condom wrapper.  Hmmm…… the beach can be a very romantic spot.

I am just thankful that a sea turtle did not come up to nest as we are all too familiar with the photos of turtles getting trapped in beach furniture that is left on the beach.

Here are my totals for today:
7 cigarette butts
21 food wrappers
7 plastic bottle caps
5 various plastic lids
8 straws/stirrers
1 plastic spoon
1 cigarette lighter
3 pieces of construction material including painters tape, which I have found for the past few weeks.
6 foam pieces
12 various plastic pieces
5 plastic beverage bottles
3 aluminum cans
6 plastic bags (non-grocery)
1 paper bag
4 paper cups
3 plastic cups
1 foam cup
1 potentially deadly 6 pack holder

3 strapping bands (probably from broken beach chairs)
1 tobacco packaging
packaging from 3 condoms, but no condom
6 articles of clothing (panties, shirt, 4 socks)
7 shoes
1 plastic bag for a camping chair
2 chairs
2 ace bandage wraps
3 bandaids
1 pink ribbon
2 plastic zip ties
18 toys

1 baby head band
2 dryer sheets
3 baby wipes
1 dive/snorkel mask
1 plastic netting bag that holds beach toys
1 aluminum rod (from something that broke)
1 broken beach umbrella (b/c if it is broken, you may as well leave it on the beach as you don't want it anymore anyway, right? )

All total, I picked up at least 263 items today.
At the very very very minimal, 53 of those items could have been avoided all together by saying "no thank you" to single use disposable plastic (21 food wrappers, 7 plastic bottle caps, 5 plastic beverage bottles, 6 sandwich type bags, 3 plastic cups, 1 foam cup, 8 straws/stirrers, 1 plastic spoon, 1 six pack holder).

Let's "KIC" the disposable plastic habit!

Peace & Clean Oceans,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Super Moon, Plastic Bottles, & Fireworks!

August 11, 2014

Since it had rained much of the weekend, we thought there would not be much trash.  Man, were we wrong!

We were lucky enough to have another Super Moon and the high tide line had almost reached the dunes on part of the walk.  Sadly, I plucked much of the trash right out of the surf.

There was quite a bit of sargassum that had washed in on the beach and it seemed to have brought plastic bottles with it!  Some of the bottles had barnacles on them, so I knew they had been at sea for a little while.   This concerned me because sargassum is exactly where loggerhead hatchlings hang out; and if plastic is in the sargassum, that means the hatchlings and the plastic are hanging out together---not a good combination.

Today we collected 21 plastic bottles!  Please remember that we are monitoring less than one mile of beach and we collected 21 plastic bottles!

Remember, everything flows down stream towards the ocean.  When items enter the storm drains, they will likely end up in the ocean.
Storm Drain on Pavilion Drive (near Sweet and Savory and Fibbers)

No matter where you live, reducing your disposable plastic consumption will really help the seas.

Our planet is beautiful!  Please Keep It Clean!

Trash we collected today included:
14 cigarette butts
29 food wrappers
16 plastic bottle caps
1 metal bottle cap
8 plastic lids
25 straws/stirrers
2 plastic cutlery
21 plastic bottles including 1 laundry detergent bottle
1 glass bottle
2 aluminum cans

1 plastic grocery bag
4 other plastic bags
2 plastic cups
1 foam plate
4 balloons (2 mylar and 2 latex)
1 butane lighter
3 pieces of construction material
73 fireworks!

1 plastic fishing lure piece
26 plastic/foam packaging pieces
2 strapping bands
1 chewing tobacco can
1 ink pen
1 shirt
1 kids underwear
4 toys
2 bandaids
3 hair ties
2 plastic tent stakes
3 zip ties
2 chap sticks
1 baby wipe
13 plastic pieces
8 foam pieces (2 were very large with barnacles and long sea moss attached)

We did see a beach bunny.  The last time we saw a beach bunny, it also happened to be during the Super Moon!