Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Daily Ocean: Day 168

Tomorrow.  Election day.  A day I've been waiting for since April... well, probably for different reasons than most.  I have personally already voted... casting my ballot for the environment... choosing candidates that will stand up against big polluters and stand up FOR clean air, water and protecting our natural environment.
Over the weekend, there were TWO different beach clean ups at Wrightsville Beach.  Both cleanups started at Johnnie Mercer's Pier and one focused specifically on cigarette butts. Normally, I would never go to an access that had just been cleaned... but today, I wanted to see what would happen.  I wondered if the beach would be clean... I wondered how many cigarette butts I would find....

When I walked onto the beach, I picked up a quick 8 cigarette butts... then I kept seeing more.  I then questioned whether or not many people showed up to do the cleanups over the weekend.  I walked casually... picking up... and then my timer went off.  225 cigarette butts.
I then got on the phone with my friend Ginger to find out about those two weekend beach clean ups... and couldn't believe what she told me.  Volunteers with the beach clean up that was focusing on cigarette butts picked up 10 lbs of butts off of Wrightsville Beach.
Photo credit: Great American Butt Clean

AND... volunteers with the other beach clean up organized by a high school student picked up 1,641 cigarette butts!!  Both of  those cleanups were on Saturday and today (Monday) I picked up 225 cigarette butts at the exact same location.  Problem?
Photo credit: Ginger Taylor
So why have I been waiting for tomorrow?  On November 6, Wrightsville Beach voters will vote on a referendum to ban smoking on the beach strand.  I'm going to be electioneering at Wrightsville Beach FOR a smoke-free beach!  If you're a WB resident, tell your family, friends and neighbors to get out to the polls!  Vote FOR our environment... Vote FOR a clean beach... Vote FOR clean air... Vote FOR the referendum!!

20 minutes on November 5, 2012 at Access 16
Litter by weight: 6.3 oz
Cigarette butts: 225

Beach toys?  

Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 168 days:
 52,993