Showing posts with label access 36. Show all posts
Showing posts with label access 36. Show all posts

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 251

I started my day of (w)RIGHT(sville)!  Quick beach cleanup before I went to yoga!

July 12, 2014 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 6.1 oz
Cigarette butts: 25

Total amount of cigarette butts removed: 58,040

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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 239

This afternoon, as my kids and I were talking, I mentioned that it was World Water Day.  My kids looked at me like they were waiting for me to say something more.... so, I finished with: "All life is dependent upon water.  Water IS life.  If there's anything worth celebrating, it is definitely Water."
Normally on World Water Day, I'd wax poetic about how awesome water is... no doubt it IS magic.  And the magic of water extends beyond its sustaining all life.  In some cases, water makes life more livable.  does that even make sense?  I guess, to me, it does because I'm thinking about my friends who run the non-profit Ocean Cure.  Ocean Cure utilizes the ocean by doing charity surf camps for medically fragile youth and adults because they believe in the powerful emotional and healing properties of the ocean.  It's true.

Water sustains us, but it also helps heal us.

Ocean Cure is currently in need of funding to purchase four WAVEJET battery powered surfboard systems to broaden the work they do with Life Rolls On/They Will Surf Again, Wounded Warriors, Little Pink Houses of Hope and many other medically fragile adults and children.

Learn more here:  Go Fund Ocean Cure

20 minutes on March 22, 2014 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 1 lb 1.3 oz
Cigarette butts: 40

Total cigarette butts removed: 57,795

Oh, and if you're curious about what Access 36 looked like back on March 22, 2011: Our Daily Ocean: Day 52

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Our Daily Ocean: Day 230

When I parked my car at Wrightsville Beach, the sky was overcast with a chance of rain.  I didn't pay much attention to the possibility of rain, because I had planned on doing this beach clean up many months ago when I scheduled my kids' science class at Airlie Gardens.  So I hopped out of my car, zipped up my jacket and grabbed my bag... joining the only other people willing to be at the beach with impending rain-- surfers.
There have been many times when I've been at the beach and have had it all to myself... but even then, I can see people in the distance.  Not this day.  The only people I could see were paddling out, watching the waves and surfing the good(ish) ones.
For the first half of my beach cleanup, I walked through a light mist wondering if the surfers could even feel it.  Then with about 8 minutes to go, the mist turned into a sprinkle.  "No problem," I said.  Then the wind picked up.  "Shit."  I had to walk sideways to keep the rain out of my face and in a matter of minutes my jeans were wet and my jacket dripping.  As I went along, I picked up the best I could to finish my beach cleanup.  Then I sprinted to my car and just as I closed my car door the sprinkling turned into a steady rain.  Perfect timing.

20 minutes on January 14, 2014 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 1 oz
Cigarette butts: 8                                 

Total cigarettes removed: 57,627

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 222

I didn't plan on going to the beach on Saturday morning.  But as I was driving home from taking my kids to their marine science class... I knew that-- even though I had forgotten to bring my jacket (turns out it was so nice I didn't need it) and I didn't have my beach cleanup bags (no problem, I always have some reusable bags in my car)--  I couldn't pass up a 70 degree morning at the beach.
 It was another perfect morning at the beach.  With an impending weather change, my oldest son and I  had the beach to ourselves except for the occasional runner passing through.  With how nice the weather has been lately, I've really been expecting to find more litter during our 20 minute cleanups... but that hasn't been the case.  That makes me happy.
 A year ago, I was visiting my friend Sara in Santa Monica to celebrate her completing her 365th The Daily Ocean beach cleanup.  It was a great time and it's really so hard to believe that a year has passed so quickly.  In 8 months, I hope to complete my 365th beach cleanup.  As of now, I have 143 cleanups to go.  Yeah, it's a lot.  But I'm not going to let the idea overwhelm me.  I have a goal in mind and every chance I have to get to the beach, I will.  I don't stress... everything happens as it should, when it should.
UPDATE:  On my 212th beach cleanup, I noticed that the Oceanic restaurant had what appeared to be an employee break area under the pier that was littered with lots and lots of cigarette butts.  I took the time to contact Mayor Cignotti and Alderman Sisson regarding the issue.  I'm thankful that they along with WB Town Manager Tim Owens responded to my concerns and fixed the problem.  :)

Remember that your voice matters.  Use it.
20 minutes on December 7, 2013 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 14.2 oz
Cigarette butts: 48

Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 222 days:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 217

If you love a place, you have a duty to protect it.  And to love a place, you must know it first.  
(from 180˚South)

I love where I live so much.  Especially when it feels like spring in the midst of autumn.

20 minutes on November 16, 2013 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 5.4 oz
Cigarette butts: 22

Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrigthsville Beach, NC in 217 days: 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 212

Lately whenever I do beach cleanups near the one of the two piers at Wrightsville Beach, I can't help but imagine the "No Surfing Signs" with the words "No Smoking" instead.  ;)
Since I did this beach clean up at our adopted beach access 36, I took the time to walk under Crystal/Oceanic Pier.  I was happy to not find any littered straws... however, I was extremely disappointed to see that Oceanic has one of their pier dining chairs under the pier and around it were more cigarette butts than I cared to count (or pick up).
Since Wrightsville Beach has a smoke-free beach ordinance... I'm surprised and a bit irritated at what appeared to be an Oceanic restaurant employee smoke-break area on the beach. ... which means that two Wrightsville Beach ordinances are being ignored: no smoking and no littering on Wrightsville Beach.
A friend of mine once said, "So here's the deal... if you want good karma... learn to take care of yourself and your daily needs without making other people work harder than they have to.  When you leave a place you have rested, clean up your space and leave no trace.  And be sure to show gratitude by giving back what was never yours to begin with."

Love where you live.  Love where you travel.  Love wherever you are... 
and take care of what you love.

20 minutes on October 22, 2013 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 2 lbs 6.2 oz
Cigarette butts: 62

 Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 212 days:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 201

On Monday afternoon, while my daughter was at dance, I set out to Wrightsville Beach to make good on my personal goal of doing a beach cleanup as often as I could.  Wanting to do my 365th beach cleanup on August 9, 2014 is going to take focus, planning and commitment. 
Something I rarely mention is that the commitment is about more than just doing a beach cleanup.  Anyone who has taken the time to document beach cleanups, knows what I'm talking about.  The commitment for me involves a 20 minute drive to the beach, 20 minute cleanup, 20 minute drive home and the time to weigh, sort, and document.
  This is not a once a year beach cleanup. This is a portrait of a beach.... through the days, weeks and months of the year.  These small beach cleanups are how a lightbulb effectively got switched on for me.    My friend Harry (aka The Flotsam Diaries) just wrote a fantastic piece for the Portland Press Herald blog titled, "The International Coast Cleanup-- Bigger Isn't Better".  He writes:
"...have everyone get down in the sand, picking every last piece of garbage they can, til nobody can pick up one more scrap. Get in there with them. Make the beach spotless. Make it shine. Take a picture to remember how it looks spotless. Smile.
Then, gather your group at the same beach not in a year, but in a week.
There is nothing more jarring to the system than seeing a place you broke your back caring for, trashed again while the soreness of your effort is still in your limbs.
There’s nothing better to drive the point home that it’s time for a change."
Coastal Cleanup Day was on Saturday and I did this cleanup on Monday.  This is reality. 

It's time for change.
20 minutes on September 23, 2013 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 7.3 oz
Cigarette butts: 137
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 201 days:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 191

Not long ago, I went to write "I've been so busy."  ...and as those words started out of my head and onto the screen... I hit a mental delete and instead said, "my life is full."  And so goes, why I haven't posted in so long....

My life is full. 
As I spent so much time focused on the Wrightsville Beach smoking ban the past couple of years, it's been good for me to take a bit of time away from the beach this year and focus on other things including reading and gardening. But when I do make it to the beach, I find myself mentally rewinding to previous years beach cleanups.  I am grateful that I was part of helping create change at Wrightsville Beach... because with every beach cleanup I do... it's evident that the smoke-free beach ordinance is working.  

Comparing my 149th beach clean up from July 15, 2012 at Access 36 to July 15, 2013 at Access 36 there's a 69% decrease in cigarette litter post smoking ban! 
There are many things worth celebrating at the beach and yes... the smoke-free beach ordinance is one of them ;)  When celebrating while at the beach (or anywhere for that matter), I'd like to make the suggestion to always celebrate responsibly and with thought and concern for the environment.

Make memories, not trash.
20 minutes on July 15, 2013 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 4.7 oz
Cigarette butts: 41
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 191 days:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 190

Every Monday morning as the sun is rising, my friend Ginger walks a section of Wrightsville Beach looking for turtle tracks and picking up trash along her path.  She has been walking the same stretch of sand for the past 4 years... and on that particular stretch of sand is my family's adopted beach access 36.  On Monday morning just hours after Ginger, I did my 190th beach clean up... 

One may think that it's silly to do a beach clean up where someone else has already been... but the truth of the matter is that no one person can do everything.  Chances are even the most thorough person is going to miss something... depending on the light certain plastics become completely invisible in the sand.  ... or... because this is unfortunately the way it is.... chances are in such a short amount of time, something will be littered.
As much time and energy that I put into doing beach clean ups... I know that beach cleanups are not the answer to the litter problem.  They're only part of the answer.  Doing any type of cleanup is super important... especially when we take the time to connect our own purchasing habits with the products that we find littered.  We can become conscious consumers just by cleaning up our world.  Maybe we're not all going to try to make our own potato chips (yeah, I did that)... but what we can all do is choose the largest bag of chips and use a reusable container instead of a ziplock, use a reusable water bottle, refuse single-use bags, say "no straw please"... 

Every time we buy something, we're casting our votes for the kind of world we want to live in.  

20 minutes on June 17, 2013 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 2 lbs 7.7 oz
Cigarette butts: 33
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 190 days:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 182

The temperatures pushed past 80˚ today and as my kids spent their afternoon at Airlie Gardens doing their science class... I made my way to our adopted beach access at Wrightsville Beach.  It's been what seems like forever (January 15) since I've been to Access 36 as I'm usually pretty tight on the amount of time I have... but today I had an abundance of time!
There's some big changes happening at Wrightsville Beach including the rebuilding of the weather-worn Crystal Pier.  Since the pier has been a part of Wrightsville Beach for over 70 years, I'm super happy that the pier is being repaired and rebuilt even though I'm not a fan of the litter that blows off the pier from Oceanic restaurant.  (hoping this year will be different!)

At least one thing will be different this year... and not to get excited too early... but today I had a record low cigarette butt count!!  25 cigarette butts in 20 minutes!  Ok... ok... I know peak season isn't here just yet... but I'm happy nonetheless.  Only time will tell if the smoke-free beach ordinance continually helps to significantly reduce cigarette litter at Wrightsville Beach.  I'm optimistic :)

20 minutes on April 9, 2013 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 1 lb 6 oz
Cigarette butts: 25
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 182 days:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our Daily Ocean: Day 174

It was 46 degrees this morning when I stepped onto Wrightsville Beach.  Having forgotten my coat, I took a deep breath, thought warm thoughts and set my timer for 20 minutes.
Typical of a cold winter day, the beach was very quiet.... which has to be my favorite thing about winter at the beach.  With only the sound of the ocean, I am alone with my thoughts... and picking up litter becomes somewhat meditative.  To be honest, without a timer set... I could walk the beach without realizing how far I've gone.
One thing that I kept thinking about while on the beach was: Being conscious to how we are connected to our world (and not separate from it or each other) is one of the most important things we can do.  Because when we become conscious to this fact, we realize that everything we do (or don't do) matters.  We know that when we take that refuse that plastic bag, we show others that there's another way.  We do it for the oceans, we do it for the animals, we do it for our air and water quality, we do it for more than we know... because one thing we know for sure is that we're all connected in this great big beautiful world.

Want to help rid New Hanover County of plastic bags?  Go here (yes, it matters)
20 minutes on January 8, 2013 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 8.7 oz
Cigarette butts: 112
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 174 days:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Our Daily Ocean: Day 154

As I sat down today to update the cigarette butt tally from last night's beach clean up, my daughter took notice of the difference between the comparison that The Daily Ocean and I have been doing since March.  Since March, Sara has done 50 beach clean ups and removed 297 cigarette butts from her Santa Monica beach.  We, on the other hand, have done only 31 beach clean ups and have removed 6,620 cigarette butts from Wrightsville Beach.  My daughter had 2 reactions to that information.  First she said, "Mom, you really need to catch up!  You need to do more beach clean ups." And then she said, "Wrightsville Beach should be a smoke-free beach." (agreed)

This November, the residents of Wrightsville Beach will have the opportunity to vote on making Wrightsville Beach a smoke-free beach.  Though, Wrightsville Beach may no longer have the opportunity to be first smoke-free beach in North Carolina BECAUSE on Tuesday, Carolina Beach officials voted 4-1 in favor of a smoke-free beach ordinance!!!  My husband went to the meeting with other Cape Fear Surfrider board members and spoke out about some confusion that had been created by the town's attorney.  This is an exciting time for my area, as Carolina Beach is set to become the first smoke-free beach in North Carolina.  There is one catch though... the ordinance is pending state legislation that will allow Carolina Beach to enforce the ordinance, which should happen sometime in 2013.  Read more here.

It is not a single wave that shapes the beach, but countless waves over time.

20 minutes on August 17, 2012 at Access 36
Litter by weight: 1 lb
Cigarette butts: 121
Straws: 28 (22 from Oceanic)
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 154 days:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Daily Ocean: Day 151

On Sunday evening, my family and I took a picnic dinner and all of our boogie boards to the beach.  We weren't playing in the water long when we started to hear thunder and flashes of lightening.  Although the rain cell was on the north end of the beach, we heeded the warning of the thunder and steered clear of the water until it all passed.
With the impending weather, many people packed up and left the beach... others like us stayed knowing that the southeastern winds would keep pushing the storm to the north.  Another thing that wind did was blow a lot of straws off of Oceanic's dining pier.  We picked up 34 plastic straws and 31 of those straws came from Oceanic. (the other 3 were from McDonald's and a juice box)  Yikes.  I'll be contacting Oceanic again and hope that we can come up with some kind of solution to help keep straws from blowing from the pier and also save Oceanic some $$.  A side-note to that: I'd personally love to see Oceanic start making changes and become part of the Green Restaurant Association.
When I saw that Starbucks coffee lid stopper (yes, I had to google what the heck that thing was!), I immediately thought about the post over on My Plastic-free Life about all of the trash Starbucks creates.  A Starbucks employee wrote Beth hoping to get some help because what she's witnessing is completely unnecessary and ridiculous.  Read the post here: Starbucks Trash: Behind the Scenes  If you'd like to get involved in a social media flash mob to Starbucks, you can learn more about that here: Flash Mob: Starbucks
In 3 weeks (August 14), the Town of Carolina Beach will vote on a proposed smoke-free beach ordinance.  If the council decides to vote in the smoke-free beach ordinance, Carolina Beach will become the first smoke-free beach in North Carolina.  If you support smoke-free beaches, please take take action by sending the council a letter using this Surfrider Action Alert:

20 minutes on July 22, 2012 at Access 36
Cigarette butts: 123
Straws: 34
Total amount of cigarette butts removed from Wrightsville Beach, NC in 151 days: