Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Daily Ocean: Day 141

Memorial Day weekend... it's considered the official start to beach season.  It's when the tourists really start to roll into town and it's when EVERYONE heads to the beach.  Well... almost everyone.  After last years experience at Wrightsville Beach Access 17, I was hard pressed to even go to the beach this weekend.  But instead of completely avoiding the beach, we made the decision that we didn't want to spend our time at the beach frustrated and to save our sanity we decided to not go near Johnnie Mercer's Pier.
By the time we got to Access 22 on Sunday evening, most people had cleared off the beach...  but from our vantage point I could see there was still quite a large crowd of people around the pier accesses.  Thankfully, the beach wasn't too bad at Access 22 and we were able to have a nice walk along the beach strand randomly picking up litter.  (It's so nice to not feel overwhelmed.)

SOOOO.... I totally need to give some updates!  On Wednesday, as I waited to pick my daughter up from school, I got a call from a reporter with the Star-News.  She called to let me know that the New Hanover County Board of Elections had validated the signatures for the petition to ban smoking on Wrightsville Beach!!  I am super excited about what is to come and was so stoked that I heard the news first!!  Woot Woot!!

As we talk about making Wrightsville Beach a smoke-free beach, it's important for me to keep reiterating the difference of found cigarette butts on Wrightsville Beach to that of what my friend Sara The Daily Ocean is picking up in Santa Monica (a smoke-free beach).  Since March, Sara and I have been comparing the number of cigarette butts found on our respective beaches during our 20 minute beach clean ups.  Most recently on Sara's 284th  beach clean up, she collected ZERO cigarette butts!!!  (The least amount I ever picked up was 39 and it was on a crazy windy day.)  Here's the update to where Sara and my comparisons are as of today:

21 beach clean ups: 173 cigarette butts in Santa Monica
18 beach clean ups: 4,130 cigarette butts in Wrightsville Beach

The difference is staggering. I wish the Board of Aldermen who voted against the smoking ban could move past whatever is holding them back from making Wrightsville Beach a cleaner and more family friendly beach and vote in the smoke-free beach ordinance. I have no doubts about the positive impact of a smoke-free beach.  If you agree, the Surfrider action alert for Smoke-Free Wrightsville Beach is still live... take a moment to send a letter to the WB BOA letting them know that you're still in support of this effort!  SUPPORT SMOKE-FREE WB

20 minutes on May 28, 2012 at Access 22
Cigarette butts: 128
Straws: 6
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 141 days: