Sunday, September 4, 2011

Our Daily Ocean: Day 95

Last night... was a record breaking night.  Our 20 minute clean up turned into almost 30 minutes... and even when we finished the section we started, as we left the beach we could see that there (literally) was no end in sight.  But, maybe I should rewind a bit... as much as I want to blurt everything out right now... let's start from the beginning.

Earlier in the day, I called Bonnie to see if she wanted to go for ice cream with us... ummm... YES!!  Then we decided that we would meet beforehand at Wrightsville Beach to do a 20 minute clean up.  :)  By the way, if you don't know who Bonnie is... you should!  She's been to 3 of the 5 ocean gyres studying the accumulation of plastics in our oceans.  AND... I'm super excited because she's currently working on an art exhibit that will be shown late September...

So... as it were... Claire and Henri were playing in the ocean... I saw a cigarette butt in the tideline...Bonnie grabbed a piece of plastic... and then Henri ran out of the water with a plastic bag (no not that kind... a package for rubber gloves).  As my kids finished playing and our clean up started, my kids made a beeline for the dunes/grasses... finding odds and ends of plastics along the way.

Then it happened, Bonnie called me over to the wrack line.  It was reminiscent of the wrack line that we came across on Day 11 at Access 20.  If you recall, we picked up 1,833 cigarette butts that day.  But, this day... we picked up more....  I attempted to take a picture, but realized that I couldn't fit into one frame what we were seeing... a photo couldn't explain why we didn't stop at the 20 minute mark.  As Bonnie says, "We were soooo outnumbered... the sun went down before we could even come close to finishing."  

I'm not sure where all of those cigarette butts came from, but here's the fact that matters: 
 They were all littered.  

We went over 20 minutes on September 3, 2011 at Access 17

Litter by weight: 2 lbs 6 oz
Cigarette butts: 2,026 
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 95 days: