Thursday, August 8, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 195

On Wednesday, while my two youngest were finishing up with camp, my oldest son and I did a beach clean up together at... I mean... under Johnnie Mercer's Pier.
Normally, I pick an access and walk as much of the access as we can in 20 minutes.  But when we got to the beach at 3pm, the sun was so bright for my non-sunglass wearing son that he asked if we could stay under the pier in the shade.  And for the most part we did.  We only ventured out from the cover of shade to pick up a plastic bag and a few other items that caught our eyes within 5 feet of the pier.  
But even though we limited where we picked up litter for 20 minutes... there was no shortage.  Just as the shade of the pier offered us relief from the harsh afternoon sun... so many other people take refuge there throughout the day shading themselves and their children from the sun in between playing in the waves.  
Plastic juice box straw wrappers were a sure sign that children had been under the pier... and we found lots and lots of those little wrappers.   But the little plastic wrappers weren't the only things we were finding under Johnnie Mercer's Pier.   Some notable items we picked up were 13 plastic straws, 15 caps, an unused still wrapped condom and two hair extensions!  We also-- surprisingly-- found 104 littered cigarette butts under the pier.  Hmm...

20 minutes on August 7, 2013 under Johnnie Mercer's Pier
Litter by weight: 1 lb 3 oz
Cigarette butts: 104
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 195 days:
55,553