Friday, May 30, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 247

It's simple.  Whatever we do (or don't do) impacts the world we live in. 

We're volunteering with Audubon NC as Wrightsville Beach Bird Stewards!  It's a great reason to be at the beach and while we're there, I'm able to do a quick 20 minute beach clean up.  Watching the birds has given my kids a renewed perspective on helping cleanup the beach-- to protect the birds!  This week we got to see 2 oyster catcher chicks!

There are also lots and lots of Black Skimmers that are currently nesting on Wrightsville Beach.  I LOVE watching them skim along the surface of the water.  (ok, I also love just watching them sit on their nests).  Want to see more pictures of the nesting shorebirds at Wrightsville Beach?  Check out the WB Bird Stewards blog!

May 29, 2014 at Access 43/44
Litter by weight: 14.9 oz
Cigarette butts: 23

Total cigarette butts removed: 57,955

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 246

Memorial Day weekend is considered the official start of beach season.  It's also the start of what any of us who clean the beach would call the "trashing of the beach".  Beach goers come in droves for their moment at the beach... and they live in the experience... but somehow a sad majority forget to respect and protect this natural wonder that they rush to visit.  Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the beach on Memorial Day (I heard the horror stories of trash lined beaches)... but I did make it out to Wrightsville Beach on Saturday evening to do a beach clean up with Bonnie Monteleone and her daughter Tricia (not pictured).

Bonnie is a good friend and a local environmental hero of mine.  Her nonprofit-- Plastic Ocean Project-- educates through field research, implements progressive outreach initiatives and is currently working on 5 solutions to address the global plastic pollution problem.  Plus she created an eye-openning art exhibit entitled "What Goes Around, Comes Around" that will be traveling across the US this summer and throughout the rest of 2014 (and hopefully beyond).  

AND... yes, there's more... for  Jack Johnson's All At Once campaign during his recent tour (happening now!), Plastic Ocean Project was chosen to be a partner to receive direct and matching donations from the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation!  Any donations made now through September 1, 2014... Jack Johnson will MATCH (doesn't matter if the donation is $1 or $100)!  

Learn more about Plastic Ocean Project (POP) and how to donate here.
Are you ready for the run down of what Bonnie and I picked up during Saturday's beach cleanup?  Here we go... from most to least items found!
Cigarette butts: 44 (this is a fantastic improvement!)
Food Wrappers: 28
Straws: 14
Toys: 10
Misc. plastics: 8
Caps: 3
Boogie boards/broken leash: 3
Zip ties: 3 (these are from the beach renourishment project)
Cups: 2
Clothing/eyeware: 2
Plasticware: 1

See the common problem?  ... PLASTIC.  Plastic. plastic....  
May 24, 2014 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 1 lb 7.1 oz
Cigarette butts: 44

Total amount of cigarette butts removed: 57,932

Friday, May 23, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 245

This year, my kids and I are volunteering for NC Audubon at the far southend of Wrightsville Beach. So whenever we can, we'll be spending our time helping educate beach goers about the nesting birds and why it's so important to not disturb their nesting area.  Since the beach isn't too busy (yet), it's been a great opportunity to get myself acquainted with the nesting birds... like these Black Skimmers. (seen through a scope).
So far, we've only volunteered a few times.... but I'm loving connecting with and learning more about one of the reasons "why" we do beach cleanups.  Wrightsville Beach is these birds' home.  They start a family here... let's keep it clean

While we were watching the Black Skimmers, we witnessed what's called a "mob".  When disturbed-- by people, dogs, or even an Osprey flying by-- all of the birds, including those nesting, fly in a mob to scare off the threat.  The birds are willing to sacrifice their nest for the good of the flock.  So, if you're heading to accesses 43/44 at Wrightsville Beach... please pay attention to the postings that protect the shore bird nesting area.  Also, it's worth noting that there is no cut-through to Access 44 from 43.  44 can only be accessed from the Jack Parker parking lot.

May 22, 2014 at Access 44
Litter by weight: 10.7 oz 
Cigarette butts: 10

Total cigarette butts removed: 57,888

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 244

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
~Lao Tzu 

Friday evening marked the beginning of our evenings at the beach AND my kids took their first dip in the ocean of 2014!  The beach renourishment is still running full force at Wrightsville Beach, but will hopefully be finished by the end of the month.  My 20 minute beach cleanup was super easy as the access 39 was SO clean.  Thanks to the WB smoke-free beach ordinance, I only picked up FIVE littered cigarette butts! 
May 16, 2014 at Access 39
Litter by weight: 2.4 oz
Cigarette butts: 5

Total cigarette butts removed: 57,878

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 243

"A common misconception about people who are passionate about their values is that they expect everyone to live like them. In actuality, many of the most passionate driven people I know, are also some of the most open minded." 
 ~Alex Eaves, STAY VOCAL
Leave the criticisms and judgements behind.  Be an encourager.

May 9, 2014 at Access 43/44
Litter by weight: 1 lb 10 oz
Cigarette butts: 19

Total cigarette butts removed: 57,873

Friday, May 2, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 242

"Establishing goals is all right if you don't let them deprive you of interesting detours." 
~Doug Larson

I've been taking a lot of detours lately and letting this blog sit... I'll be here full force once I find my way back.... 
May 2, 2014 at Access 44
Litter by weight: 3.8 oz
Cigarette butts: 6

Total cigarette butts removed: 57,854