Friday, May 17, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 185

Welcome to Wrightsville Beach, the first smoke-free beach in North Carolina!!!   We worked hard to make it happen and we're "thumbs up" happy about it! I'd like to express my personal gratitude to everyone who took the time to write the NC legislature asking them to oppose SB703 and preserve our smoke-free outdoor spaces.  Thank YOU so very very much!!
Ok... so onto last night's record low clean up... what? wait... what's that?  Yup, I said it (again). Record low cigarette butt count.  My friend Tracy and I did a 20 minute beach clean up while our kids played. The two of us together picked up 14 cigarette butts at Access 39.

Curious about how this compares to past clean ups at Access 39?

November 24, 2010 = 166 cigarette butts
August 25, 2011 = 176 cigarette butts
June 8, 2012 = 94 cigarette butts

or how about this one from Access 38 on May 14, 2011.  Same time of year.  178 cigarette butts.

I have always believed that smoke-free beach ordinances help reduce cigarette litter... but to see it happening already... I'm thrilled!!
On another note, sea turtle nesting season is upon us again!  (yay!)  That means the WB Sea Turtle Project Volunteers will be spending their early mornings walking the beach in search of turtle tracks.  As they walk the beach, many volunteers pick up litter.  Since 2009, they have removed 2,284 bags of trash from Wrightsville Beach.  You can follow along with them on their blog WB Keep It Clean 
When Tracy found that piece of coral it made me think about how it's a lot more fun finding beautiful mementos of nature than it is to find plastics and other trash.  As my friend Ginger says: 

"A clean beach means a healthier ocean in which sea turtles and other life can swim and live and play freely."

20 minutes on May 16, 2013 at Access 39
Litter by weight: 3.7 oz
Cigarette butts: 14

Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 185 days:
54,926