Monday, February 24, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 235

On Sunday, as I drove to Wrightsville Beach to do a quick cleanup before taking my son to his hip hop class, I thought I knew what I was getting into.  Well,  I was wrong.  While getting onto the island was a breeze, there was loads of outbound traffic and the beach was still packed (ok, packed for February)!!  Apparently, I forgot that it was UNCW homecoming weekend.
I haven't seen major crowds at the beach in such a long time that the sight was a bit overwhelming at first.  Where to walk?  Which way to go?  Does that belong to someone or was it left behind?  There are so many more variables to contend with when people have their chairs, toys and blankets laid out.  Not to mention the larger groups playing various beach games (like volleyball and bocce ball).  It's a lot to weave through while searching the sand for what doesn't belong.
It's hard not to start thinking about summer and what the litter problem will be like with the increased number of visitors to our beach.  I wish there was a way to reach those people before they arrive.  A way to connect our love for the beach and ocean to an understanding and commitment to care for it... even in the midst of getting lost in what it means to be at the beach.
20 minutes on February 23, 2014 at Access 17
Litter by weight: 2 lbs 1.8 oz
Cigarette butts: 16

Total cigarette butts removed: 57,712