Thursday, November 5, 2015

Our Daily Ocean: Day 256

 I wish... I wish.... I wish.... 

I will. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015 @ 10:43 AM
Access 16-19
Time: 20 minutes
Weather: 78 & cloudy (rising tide: low tide @ 8:53 AM)
Cigarette butts: 104  (27 fresh)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Our Daily Ocean: Day 255

Recently, I've been hearing that there's an increase in cigarette litter at Wrightsville Beach and was even interviewed by Lumina News about the topic.  I went to the beach with the sole purpose of seeing the increase with my own eyes.

 But that didn't happen because on this beautiful warm fall day, I only found 3 littered cigarettes. :)  

Thursday, October 29, 2015 @ 11:06am
Access 25-29
Time: 20 minutes
Weather: 79˚ & sunny (falling tide: high tide @ 9:12 AM)
Cigarette butts: 3 (fresh)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

(Return to) Our Daily Ocean: Day 254

It has been nearly 15 months since I last posted a beach cleanup.  Truth be told, I did some beach cleanups... took some pictures and then... well, I deleted them.  I decided that needed a break.  I needed time think about how I wanted to proceed with my remaining 111 beach cleanups.

When I first started the beach cleanup project in 2010, my kids were 8, 6, and 4.  Because of their young ages, our schedule was very laid-back.  It was super easy for us to pop over to the beach on any given day and for me to sit down at my computer in the evening and type up a blogpost.  Now my kids are 13, 11, & 9... and our days are filled.  It's a good full and one that I want to work beach cleanups back into.

So... in order to get back to the beach, I am making some changes from beach to blog on how I approach all future beach cleanups.

  1. Time limit: I've stuck to the 20 minute limit for the previous 253 cleanups.  Now, I want to give what time I have whether it's 5 minutes or an hour.  
  2. Weighing: No more. 
  3. Sorting/Counting: I think that I'm done sorting. It's work. A lot of work. I'll continue to count.
  4. Blogging: I found that not wanting to blog about my beach cleanups was my primary reason for needing a break. From now on, if I have something to say, I'll say it.  If I don't, I'll just post a photo with the cleanup stats.
  5. End date: I do beach cleanups because they make me feel good. There is no time frame for finishing. 
So without further ado.... my oldest son and I did beach clean up #254 together on Saturday afternoon. The week prior to doing this cleanup, our area had major flooding due to an insane amount of rain. Knowing that the beach would be inundated with "street" litter, I made the conscious decision to not dig through the wrack line. Instead, I decided to focus on litter that came directly from beachgoers. What I found?  Out of the 57 cigarette butts we picked up, 8 were freshly littered.  The rest were found old and washed out on top of the wrack. Still old and withered... they're littered cigarette butts.  And even though they may not have been littered on the beach, they've ended up there.... sigh....

Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 3:10PM
Access 15-17
Time: 20 minutes
Weather: 73 & sunny (falling tide: low tide @ 4:58PM)
Cigarette butts: 57

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 253

Tuesday evening it rained... ok... more like it poured.   So I wasn't surprised when I went to Wrightsville Beach Wednesday morning to find a lot of forgotten items.  Wednesday morning was the day of the shoes... and socks.  Ummm.... who wears socks to the beach????

Out of all the mornings that I've gone to the beach, Wednesday was the nicest.  The humidity finally lifted and there was a nice ocean breeze.  I know that I say it often, but I absolutely LOVE where I live.   I'm grateful that I can go to the beach on a whim.... stay for hours or just 20 minutes.  It's always time well spent.

July 16, 2014 at Access 24
Litter by weight: 3 lbs 1.2 oz
Cigarette butts: 12

Total cigarette butts removed: 58,169

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 252

Usually, I'm not a morning person.  I may wake up around 7 am, but I move slowly spending a good 2-hours sitting around sipping tea, playing word games and reading before I am ready to "start" my day.  But with my three kids out of town visiting family, I've been forcing myself to move in the morning so that I can go to a morning yoga class and do a beach cleanup!
Even though I only spend enough time at the beach to do my cleanup and then dip my toes in the ocean before heading off to yoga... I'm really enjoying this new routine.  It's making me feel energized and complete.  ... I suppose that I've really just missed being at the beach and the meditative state I get into while walking and cleaning up.  Plus I'm really glad I made it out this morning... there were a lot more littered cigarette butts than I've picked up in a LONG time.
Do you carry a reusable water bottle?  If you haven't made the switch from single-use bottled water, I highly recommend watching the documentary Tapped to learn about the health and environmental issues of bottled water. (and don't forget to share with friends)

July 15, 2014 at Access 18
Litter by weight: 1 lb 10 oz
Cigarette butts: 117

Total cigarette butts removed: 58,157

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 251

I started my day of (w)RIGHT(sville)!  Quick beach cleanup before I went to yoga!

July 12, 2014 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 6.1 oz
Cigarette butts: 25

Total amount of cigarette butts removed: 58,040

Friday, July 11, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 250

Before I went to yoga this morning, I decided to do a beach cleanup.  Being a Friday morning in the middle of summer, I imagined the beach being very busy and I started to get nervous.  Having been nearly a month since I was at the beach, the thought of a busy beach and picking up litter amongst groups of people started to make me feel a bit apprehensive and I almost changed my mind!  But, it's time to get back into my comfort-zone and there's only one way back!!! 
So I kicked off my flip flops, grabbed my bag and did my 250th beach cleanup at Access 17!  Oh, right and the beach wasn't busy at all.  But, there was definitely a lot of litter left on the beach.  Here's a list of the top 6 things I picked up this morning:

Cigarette butts: 55
Plastic caps: 15
Straws: 14
Fireworks: 13
Food wrappers: 12
Zip ties: 9

First thing's first, I'm.... getting sidetracked because when I saw this packet of "Fancy Ketchup" that Iggy Azalea song immediately popped into my head.  Well, that and "Seriously? What makes McDonald's ketchup so "fancy"?  It's ketchup. In a single-serving plastic pouch."  I don't get it.   

This cleanup marks the start of me using a new app called One+One.  I've only used it once, but so far so RAD!  I'm officially on the map as the first person on the East Coast to log data and I'm 3rd on the leaderboard!  Want to get the app?  It's free in the iTunes app store

July 11, 2014 at Access 17
Litter by weight: 14.5 oz
Cigarette butts: 55

Total cigarette butts removed: 58,015

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 249

Friday evening we volunteered once again for NC Audubon watching after the protected shore bird nesting area.  We've been fortunate during our volunteer time to not have any problems and get to spend our time watching the birds as they nest and take care of their babies.  Now that the dredging and beach renourishment equipment has been removed from the beach (woohoo!), we decided to walk from 44 to 43 to check the posting area and make sure no one was disturbing the protected area.  All was well and there was minimal litter to pick up.  Though we did find a plastic bag that was inside the protected nesting area, but thankfully it was just within reach!
 I've been reading a lot lately.  Mostly novels, but I recently picked up Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.  While not from that book, this quote from Edge of the Sea (1955) by Rachel Carson is one of my absolute favorites....

  "To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be." 

 June 13, 2014 at Access 44/43
Litter by weight: 10.4 oz
Cigarette butts: 3

Total cigarette butts removed: 57,960

Friday, June 6, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 248

A very very windy evening at Wrightsville Beach meant lots of fun for my kids!  

Besides having to be very careful and not let my bag blow open... it was an easy beach cleanup.  With the wind, most of the litter was found at the edge of the dune grasses.  AND for the first time EVER.... there were fewer cigarette butts than anything else!  I picked up 6 plastic food wrappers, 3 sandwich bags and only 2 cigarette butts!!

 June 3, 2014 at Access 39
Litter by weight: 1.1 oz
Cigarette butts: 2

Total amount of cigarette butts removed: 57,957