Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our Daily Ocean: Day 77

You know how during the last clean up, I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of people at the beach??  WELL...Last night, I was pleasantly surprised to see the trash cans had been emptied (thank you WB!!)... but holy guacamole... thanks to it being the Fourth of July there were still SO many people on the beach!  Originally, my husband and I wanted to clean up again at Access 16... but with the amount of people all over the sand, we made our way to the slightly less crowded Access 15.  If you're unfamiliar with Wrightsville Beach... check out this map of the access points.

  Although the trash cans were all empty, we were so saddened and disappointed to see how much litter was left on the beach.  At the tideline, there were cigarette butts being washed in and out with the tide.  Under the pier was just horrible... lots and lots of plastic utensils and straws.  BUT... the worst thing??  Used disposable baby diapers.  By leaving diapers on the beach... it's like a double whammy.  Bad for the environment and totally gross.  I put used baby diapers up with feminine products and condoms on my list of the grossest things to find at the beach.
Whenever the beach is so trashed, we spend our time very focused picking up as much as we can in 20 minutes.  We find ourselves not talking as much because we feel this need to get it all... knowing, of course, that there is absolutely no way that we could ever get it all.  But we get what we can... and we do our best to help keep Wrightsville Beach clean and beautiful.
Every time we go to the beach, there is-- inevitably-- at least one person that says, "There sure are a lot of trashy people."  BUT... what I always find amazing is that those same people who judge others... have no problem walking past a piece of litter.  Hmmm.... (pause).... one thing that I have taught my kids is that if we walk by litter, then we are no different than the person who littered in the first place....

"Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does." 
 ~William James

20 minutes on July 4, 2011 at Access 15
Cigarette butts: 257

Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 77 days: