Yesterday, as the votes were coming in for my project, my kids and I went to Wrightsville Beach... it seemed only fitting that we go back to where we started on Day #1:
Access 43... ahh... the place of all of our family pictures. Families, fishermen/women, surfers, and lovers spend their time at Access 43. It is so beautiful there... dunes... grasses... birds... it's so beautiful it's breathtaking (ok... I admit... the beach always does that to me... I LOVE the beach).
Before starting this project of picking up cigarette butts, I was (and still am) an avid litter picker-upper. I learned about the problems of litter (including cigarette filters) from my friend Jennifer (she's a superhero!!). It was Jennifer who told me about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and introduced me to my (now) friend Bonnie... which inspired me to ALWAYS pick up litter on my local beaches.
While I clean up litter on the land... Bonnie goes out to our oceans and helps sample and study plastics in our oceans. She's been to the North Atlantic Gyre, sailed with the Algalita Foundation to the North Pacific Gyre (aka Great Pacific Garbage Patch) and NOW Bonnie is going to be traveling on the Sea Dragon with 5 Gyres, and Pangaea explorations from Rio to Cape Town sailing across the South Atlantic Gyre where she and a team of more AMAZING people will be sampling the ocean for quantities of plastic.
Why should we care?
As Bonnie says, "Besides the fact that millions of marine life die each year from our floating plastic, I have witnessed prestigious island beaches where fragments of plastic, beaten down by the ocean, wash in as children swim. If we don’t stop plastic trash from entering our oceans, all of our beaches will share the same fate. Of all the environmental issues our oceans are facing, this one is the easiest one to fix and it starts with research in order to promote awareness and inspire change."
We need the research to support change. They need YOUR support for the research.
Bonnie is currently fundraising for this research mission... that leaves next weekend!! She needs OUR help!! Bonnie has been such an inspiration for me... she's not a scientist... she's just a "normal" person who read something and became inspired to get involved. Of course, we've donated to Bonnie... SO I'm asking here....if you can help Bonnie... don't hesitate... whether you can give $10... $20... $50... every bit helps. Check out her cause on Facebook or visit her website to donate!
Ok... back to the butts...
Did you know that cigarette butts are "toxic at rather low concentrations"??
YUP... based on a study by San Diego State University they found that "even one butt in a liter of water can kill the fish in a period of 96 hours." (NASTY!) They don't just look bad in the environment... they're BAD for the environment!! (Shocker)
OK... so I don't want to forget to share the *romantic* side of Access 43 ;) Signs of "love" were everywhere... socks, underwear, shirts, panties... and lots of things that I refuse to touch! Thanks to my kids finding a long metal pole... I didn't. Here's a "rated PG" picture:
I appreciate people being safe... but geez... if you wrap it.... make sure you trash it!! (I can't believe I wrote that and am not going to delete it! haha!)
20 minutes on October 29, 2010
Cigarette Butts: 265
Total amount of cigarette butts picked up off of Wrightsville Beach, NC in 16 days: