Monday, May 17, 2010

What's SO Different??

Yesterday, we made our first trip of the summer year to Figure 8 Island. Figure 8 is our beach... although it's a private island... we can get to it by boat. We park our boat on the channel side of the island that runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean. It's absolutely beautiful... the green of the marsh grass against the blue ocean... the water birds and other wildlife that live there... is breathtaking.

(My daughter, my friend Dawn and her son Dean)

As always when we go to the beach, we take a bag to pick up litter and marine debris that has washed up on the beach. In the past, we've mainly picked up things like this:

When we started our walk. I picked up a few pieces of plastic (not surprising... plastic is everywhere) and an aerosol can of bug spray... then I noticed quickly that there were no cigarette butts (obviously, from the lack of people visiting the island during the off-season... unfortunately, I know that soon will change). After walking a few minutes, we reached the point where the beach comes to an end at the edge of the marsh... where sea birds, hermit crabs, blue crabs and tiny snails amongst other things like to hang out.

One of the places that I check the most often for trash washed up on the beach is right at the surf line. I leaned over to pick up a piece of plastic that was at the surf line... I pulled and my heart sank... because at that moment I realized that plastic was entangled in all of the sea plants that had washed up on the beach.  The plastic wasn't new... it was dried out and looked melted.  It was so bad that we couldn't even untangle it... when we tried, the plastic just broke into smaller pieces... SO... we basically collected everything that was at the surf line for about 50 feet... I kneeled scooping and folding all the plastic that I could... we filled our litter bag and had to get another bag... all this in 15 minutes. :(

What's in the bags??  THIS.....

Yes, it was a huge pile...full of plastics, glass, cans, Stryofoam, etc... I could've spread it out... but with all the plastic... the wind would have surely carried some away... SO... check out the detail:

(had to pull out some marsh grass because the plastic had adhered to it.)

I know... it looks like I took many of the pictures right at the beach... and it should... because I took a good portion of the beach with me.  It really saddens me that some people can be so careless... so irresponsible. 

   SO... I ask you... what is the difference between what I cleaned up at my beach and THIS??

or between THIS:
A bird wrapped in plastic
and this??

a bird covered in oil

The thing is... there really isn't much of a difference.  Plastics are made from oil.  AND if you're saddened or if you're mad about the oil spill that is happening in the Gulf of Mexico and the detrimental effect it is having on our environment and those we share it with... THEN... now is the time to make the connection between oil and plastics.

By the way,  I'm planning on contacting Figure 8 Island to make them aware of what we removed from their beach...