Thursday, April 24, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 241

It has been almost exactly a month since I did my last beach clean up.  The cause?  My family and I went on a nearly 3 week camping/roadtrip throughout southwest US!  It was really really amazing... awe inspiring.  But, only having been home since Sunday... I've been taking my time and comfortably easing back into our every day routine.  Slowly but surely, I'll get back to doing more consistent beach cleanups!

Now a lot has changed since we were last at Wrightsville Beach back in March.  Today, when we walked up to Access 43, we could see dredging equipment stationed off the beach and orange plastic fencing in sections that's usually roped off for nesting shore birds. (sigh)  And from reading the Lumina News, it seems like Wrightsville Beach is going to have all the equipment for this renourishment project until the end of May!!!
While we were at the beach, I just couldn't stop thinking about the sea turtles that nest at WB.  How are they supposed to get over that huge pipe and lay their eggs??  I really don't see it happening.  I then started thinking about the nesting shore birds.  My kids and I love coming to the south end of WB during shore bird nesting season to see a greater than normal amount of birds soaring above us and listening to the sounds they make as they come together like a symphony.  I wonder how the birds will be impacted by the dredging activity right next to their nesting area?

Now, I don't know much about the renourishment process... yes, WB wasn't looking good on the sand front.... but it seems like this just isn't the right time of year for this all to be happening.  I'd like to make a suggestion that if you're concerned about the timing of this project, to take a moment and write a personal letter to the Army Corps of Engineers.  Your letter may not impact this particular renourishment project, but it could help in better planning for future projects.

Direct thoughtful, positive and polite letters to:
Colonel Steven A. Baker
Wilmington District
US Army Corps of Engineers 
69 Darlington Ave
Wilmington, NC 28403

20 minutes on April 24, 2014 at Access 43
Litter by weight: 1 lb 1.8 oz
Cigarette butts: 11

Total cigarette butts removed: 57,848