Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our Daily Ocean: Day 25

Last week when I spoke to Jane of the Raleigh News & Observer... she asked me a question that I get asked often as of late, "When will you stop?"  Hmmm....
Thanks to my friend Bonnie for trusting me to update The Plastic Ocean Project blog while she's in the South Atlantic Gyre plucking and documenting plastics, I've been staying current with what they're doing and what they're finding... the other night I read 5 Gyres blog and could finally answer the question, "When will *I* stop??"  

"Slowly but surely, we're showing the world that it's crazy to think you can clean this up, that gyre cleanup starts on land...And here's the pill I swallow every day when I wake up, go on deck and look at ocean - plastic particles, just below the surface, cover 75% of the surface of the earth. Yes, they're dispersed, but we're 1700 miles from land and everywhere we look, we find it. Everytime. Without exception. And the good companies we buy it from sponsor conferences and say that's okay. Well, it's not okay. It's not okay that convenience can break the entire ocean.
~ Stiv Wilson
What we're (all) doing by cleaning up on land is saving the ocean from another load of plastics that would have been destined to end up being ingested by marine animals or swirling about in our oceans.  Sure my project has been about cigarette butts... BUT... cigarette butts are a prime example of people's lack of consciousness to "where" their discarded litter actually goes and the impact that they have on the environment.  If we can change "that" mindset... I have nothing but hope for the possibilities :)

My kids and I (along with one of our dogs) went to Access 4 on Tuesday.  It's only the second time that we've been to the North end of Wrightsville Beach.  The north end is completely different than the south end.  One of the most notable differences is the sand.  It's so light and powdery that it's easily blown by the wind and forms a blanket (think like snow) over everything.  The wrack line was completely covered in a good 4-6 inches of sand.  Another difference that I noticed while we were picking up litter was the lack of litter.  Something to do with less people?? or maybe it was all covered in a blanket of sand??
20 minutes on November 30, 2010
Cigarette butts: 44 (yes, this is the lowest yet!!)

Total amount of cigarette butts picked up off of Wrightsville Beach, NC in 25 days: