Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Daily Ocean: Day 93

Another day, another post Hurricane Irene beach clean up.  Yup... we've been out to Wrightsville Beach three days in a row!!!  Of course, my kids are still super excited about all of shells that are still lining the beach...

The past two posts I've mentioned how Hurricane Irene has completely reshaped the southend of the beach... so in an effort to really share how different the beach is... we went back to the far southend of Wrightsville Beach :)  Here's what the southend looked like (looking from Access 42 to 43) back in January on our 36th beach clean up:

This is what it looks like now...
While at the beach on Saturday, I talked to some people and most often I heard people say "this is just horrible" about the fact that so many of the sand dunes were gone.  While it does look a lot different without all the dunes... it is exactly how nature intended it to be.  I watched this great educational film entitled "North Carolina: The Beaches Are Moving" about barrier islands and how they are constantly changing... and how this change (even the drastic changes from a storm) is natural and good.  It's long, but it's definitely worth watching :)  By the way, if you didn't know... Wrightsville Beach is a barrier island!
I now interrupt this lesson on barrier islands to jump full on into a semi-rant about plastic caps!!!  On Friday, Susan with the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project picked up 122 plastic bottle caps.  On Saturday, Tracy and I picked up 92 bottle caps... Sunday, I picked up 25... AND now (on Monday evening), I along with Michelle-- another beach sweeper!!-- picked up 115 plastic bottle caps!!!

Ok, so maybe you're wondering where all the bottles are that go with those caps??  Hmmm... not sure what happened to the bottles... but I have an idea about WHY there are so many freaking bottle caps.  The story I make up goes a bit like this:  Beachgoer takes cap off of plastic-- water/soda/gatorade/Vitamin-Water-- bottle... cap isn't attached in any way so it easily gets lost... and one way or another gets buried in the sand.  THEN... one day a big storm comes and moves all the sand... and VOILA! the mess that was once buried is now uncovered for us to see...

So... maybe this wasn't as big of a rant as I thought was going to come spewing out... but here's the deal. Maybe you no longer drink bottled water... rock on! That's awesome.  How about rethinking all of the drinks that come in plastic bottles with plastic lids??  Gatorade, sodas, flavored waters... little by little stop purchasing them and start filling a reusable beverage bottle instead.  Do it so our beaches stay being made of sand... do it so we find shells and not plastic... do it to save wildlife... whatever it is... find a reason and go with it. (please)

20 minutes on August 29, 2011 at Access 43
Litter by weight: 3 lbs 12.1 oz
Cigarette butts: 182
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 93 days: