Monday, July 21, 2014

A steep cliff on north end

Friday, July 11

I was excited and happy to return to zone 0 after spending the Fourth of July weekend out of town. Thank you to volunteer Celia Jones for subbing for me while I was away!

I have been quite lucky with weather so far this summer. Although the sky was tumultuous, I somehow dodged the raindrops and had a lovely walk.

As I began walking north of Shell Island Resort, I was surprised to see that the beach has been dramatically reshaped by recent storms. There is a very steep escarpment now; in some places it is a good 12-to-14 feet tall.

The majority of the litter I found came from in front of Shell Island resort and around the mailboxes, which is very typical. I have been finding lots of plastic cups lately, and I sure do wish people would stop using them in favor of reusable cups and water bottles. 

 My litter total for the day included:
- 1 styrofoam cup
- 5 plastic cups
- 1 pair of broken sunglasses
- 2 plastic water bottles
- 1 plastic toy shovel
- 2 cans
- 1 glove
- 1 large piece of heavy plastic
- 1 firework

There was also a large clump of debris at the bottom of my bag that was caked with wet sand and not really sortable.

Friday, July 18

Another perfect Wrightsville Beach sunrise... they will never get old!!

Our mild version of the Polar Vortex was a welcome surprise on Friday morning. It was cool enough on the beach that I almost put on a sweatshirt, but opted instead to feel the chilly breeze. It was fantastic.

There was a decent amount of trash in front of Shell Island resort (including some of the hotel's towels, which I always just place up near the hotel rather than taking them or throwing them away). As I walked around cleaning up, a man approached with a large, unleashed Australian Shepherd. The dog was galloping about and obviously having a grand time. My stomach plummeted, as I really dread having to say something to the owners of dogs on the beach. I have a dog, too, so I understand why people think it is a good idea to bring your dog out early in the morning, before it gets dangerously hot and before crowds of people amass. 
The dog ran right up to the perimeter of the bird sanctuary, and I cringed at the thought of a chick getting chomped or trampled. Fortunately, the Aussie then noticed me and decided I was more interesting than the dunes. He galloped up to me and jumped up, so I took the opportunity to grab his collar and hold him until his owner approached. 
I said to the man, "Hi, I don't mean to be a jerk, because I have a dog, too, and I love them. But it's a federal offense if your dog harms one of the birds in that sanctuary, so you probably should not have him out here."
The man replied, "Oh, he can't catch them." 
I said, "Well, there are flightless chicks in there right now..."
The man responded, "Oh, I didn't know there were babies. Ok."
And much to my relief, he put the dog on a leash and began to walk him back to the parking lot. Phew!

Overall, there was more trash in zone 0 than I normally find. I filled my entire reusable bag and it was rather heavy. Some of the litter was unreachable because it was on the top of the escarpment, and sadly, it had to stay where it was. 


 My litter total for the day included:
-1 broken boogie board
- 9 plastic sand toys
- 2 plastic snack wrappers
- 2 cigarette butts
- 3 straws
- 1 long, heavy piece of rope
- 1 Ziplock bag
- 1 plastic bottle cap
- 1 McDonald's french fry box
- 2 straw wrappers
- 5 plastic cups
- 1 styrofoam cup
- 4 plastic bottles
- 1 glass bottle
- 1 round plastic container (probably from bait)


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