Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Daily Ocean: Day 103

Well, I guess it's really official...cold temperatures mean that summer (gasp) is over. (boo!) With the rushing in of cold weather, no longer are our feet going to burn from the hot sand or will we get a glowing tan from being at the beach...nope... now starts the season of cold fingers and sniffly red noses.  It was so cool here yesterday, that when we headed to Wrightsville Beach, I had to break out a long sleeve shirt, my "winter" jacket, and shoes!! AND... I also broke out all my new beach cleaning bags from Green Bag Lady!!     
Now, as excited as my kids were to use their new bags... the cold northerly winds and cold sand put them in a constant state of whine and they only lasted about 5 minutes before they called it quits!! *Sigh*  It's more fun when they call it quits because they're running to play in the water...    
For the month of October, our beach clean ups have been few and far between.  In fact, with this clean up... we ended up doing only 3 clean ups for the entire month of October.  Realizing we hadn't been to Access 36-- our adopted beach access-- since September 9... my husband and I agreed that we needed to go there.  The beach was empty and the amount and type of litter we found is starting to change. However, somethings just don't change.  Through the changing of the seasons, we have found that we always find large amounts of cigarette butts.
One thing I wasn't expecting to find a lot of yesterday, was straws.  With the oceanfront restaurant Oceanic at Access 36, we always find loads of plastic straws that blow from their dining pier.  BUT... I thought with the weather being fairly cool that we wouldn't find many straws.  Boy was I wrong!!!  We collected a total of 35 straws... AND.... 31 of those straws came from Oceanic!! (shocker)  Some black, some clear... and some-- like this one I found at the steps leading up to the pier-- still in wrappers.

If you recall, I've been in contact with the district manager of the company that owns Oceanic.  This problem along with an employee smoking area, has been something that I've been assured they're working on.  I have to say, that I was very impressed to see very little cigarette litter under the pier... BUT... BUT... BUT.... the amount of straws from their restaurant that we found on a cold day at Wrightsville Beach... is completely ridiculous.  Since I've talked to Oceanic about this problem... they know it exists.  They know that they are part of the litter problem at Wrightsville Beach...and they don't want to be known as the littering restaurant.  But... 31 straws, 6 coasters, 10 candy wrappers and a mix of other various items... I hate to be the one to let them know ------> When you offer (or use) single-use disposable products... you are part of the littering problem.  I recognize this fact in my own life and because of this connection we choose to make changes. ...So, if Oceanic (or anyone else) wants to change that trend... if they truly want to be part of the solution, they have to start making changes. RETHINK, REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE   .... Guess it's time to make another phone call...

20 minutes on October 30, 2011 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 9.3 oz
Cigarette butts: 198

The pile on the left are littered items that are specific to Oceanic: coasters, straws, candy wrappers, coffee creamer, cracker wrappers.

Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 103 days: