Thursday, June 17, 2010

Re-Education, Part 2

OK. Finally coming back to the post I started last week. One-line summary: My original plan to record flotsam at Ocean Park wasn't going to work, so I made a new plan.

Welcome to Bay View.
This little gem is maybe a mile south of Ocean Park, but it has no restaurants or stores nearby and is mostly overlooked by summer crowds (and beach tractors). It has a small parking area and public access path. It's mostly used by locals (many of whom enjoy early morning clamming out on the mud flats at low tide).

Why did this seem a good place to do my new hunts? You tell me.
Fishing rope decorating the access path
New beach, new derelict lobster trap

Doesn't take a rocket scientist to know he's on to something here.

But Bay View is more than just a ratcheted-back Ocean Park. Because it's lightly traveled, people don't have to sprawl out up and down the shoreline for a good spot. Most visitors seem to hug close to the access path. Plus, about a football field to the south, a private deck juts out ominously and boldly plants its flag.
This little impediment makes beachgoers even less likely to wander. Which is great news for a flotsam hunter. Because it gives me two distinct zones to collect & compare: the busier "public" area to the north (N), and the little-traveled beach beyond the private deck to the south (S). (A respectful jut down to the high-tide line when crossing the private area keeps everyone happy.) I can collect debris from these two distinct spots and see if they really do tell different stories about where litter is coming from & how it arrives. Score!

So here's a little map of the two zones I've started collecting from (with Mr. Menacing Deck neatly separating the two):
The zones are about 270 X 100 ft each (my awful drawing above notwithstanding). The N zone starts from the path and gets close to, but doesn't quite reach, the private deck. The S zone starts at the southern edge of the private deck and heads south the same distance. (Which in a way gives me a control -- the beach in front of the deck. I'll be able to see what's happening there without disturbing any of it.)

So after all that, the big question: Is there enough trash at a quiet beach like this to make the effort worthwhile? I'm still putting together the details of my hunt. But for the moment, a teaser:
Bay View, I think I'm going to like you.

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