Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Daily Ocean: Day 128

There are times when I wish I could explain either through pictures or words more clearly some of the things we find on Wrightsville Beach.... but sometimes, as much as I try... the pictures don't begin to tell the whole story and words seem to come up short.
Through words and pictures, I can only touch on how bad some things really are.  There is nothing like being there and seeing it for yourself-- as my friend Tracy can surely attest.  Yesterday was one of those days when we cleaned a section... looked back... and could see exactly where we missed.  Cigarette butts, bottle caps, fragmented plastics, styrofoam, straws... and.... condoms. humph  There were so many cigarette butts and plastic bottle caps (89) that Tracy started calling the area we were cleaning "cap and butt beach".
As I was going through everything that Tracy and I picked up yesterday... I paused at this Gatorade bottle that Tracy found tucked away in a sand dune.  I looked at the deteriorating cap and thought about all of the ocean samples that have yielded plastics.  I thought about Kamilo Beach.  I thought about the albatross on Midway Island....whales, sea turtles, fish...   *sigh* Looking at the cap, I knew that pieces of plastic so small had broken off and are now part of our sand at Wrightsville Beach...
Here is a plain and simple fact:  If we don't change how we use plastic... One day our beaches will be made of plastic sand.  It's already happening.  We now have the task of stopping it from happening further.  How do we do it??  How do we stop our oceans and beaches from turning into plastic?  Easy.  We reduce how much plastic we use.  We rethink our needs and realize that we can go without _______ because the convenience of today isn't worth the inconvenience of cleaning up the inevitable mess tomorrow.

20 minutes on March 20, 2012 at Access 43
Litter by weight: 1 lb 10.2 oz
Cigarette butts: 394
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 128 days:
42,518