Thursday, August 19, 2010

Collection Report August 11, 2010

Before I start, a quick shoutout to Sara Bayles of Santa Monica, CA, who clearly stole my idea of a walk at the beach... a year before it came to me! (I've always been a little slow.) Starting back in May 2009, she resolved to hit her beach 365 days (not in a row, sanely) and collect & count the trash she found. (As of this post she has removed some 567 lbs of trash from her beach!) She posts pics of the beach, some of the trash, and some shots of breathtaking beauty along the way at The Daily Ocean. She's inspired many others to do their own "community collection," and she maintains an ever-growing network of folks who are making a difference in their own communities -- and in the wider world.

While I go out first thing before the crowds hit, she does her collections in the evenings in the waning light. As I mentioned to her, there's something great about the fact that the sunrises captured on my blog become the sunsets on hers. Awesome to have found you Sara, thanks for all the work you're doing!

On to the local scene here in Saco, 7:30AM Wed August 11:
Whoops. Camera was set on "close-up"
Still, you get the idea -- another beautiful day, and week. High tide had happened just after midnight, and at 11.1 ft was the highest of the month. Which always bodes an interesting day for a Flotsam Diarist. How much trash do you see in this picture? (Mouse-over and click to see what's really there.)
This was going to be a busy morning. Especially when something like this just magically appears:
This floor joist (with nail holes) is some 15 feet long. Did the waves bring it? Really can't say for sure, but it was lying, unmolested and with no footprints, at high-tide line.

On to finds. A crazy-colorful day in Zone N:
And a big one. 275 finds:
  • Building materials: 2
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 9 (inc. another piece of Aug. 4 airplane)
  • Fishing misc.: 1 (frayed bit of rope)
  • Food-related plastics: 40 (inc. Granny Smith & Empire apple labels, and burned sandwich bag - beachgoers & inappropriate fire, a weekly phenomenon)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 13 (inc. possible bit of aluminum can scrap)
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 24 (inc. amusement park wristband, button, shovel, 4 bandaids - one unopened)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 146 (128 local + 17 possible floaters + 1 wrapper)
  • Paper/wood: 30 (inc. 3 beach towel tags, McDonald's french fry bag, and bank receipt)
  • Misc./unique: 10 (inc. cheap dangly earring, lid to glass bowl, cellphone chip, velcro tag, "ESCORT" clothes label)
A few fun ones:
Cell phone chip
A tad fancy for the beach?
Happiest collection of food bags yet
And my favorite:
This will be used again
Which looks an awful lot like a little plastic shovel The Daily Ocean just found in Santa Monica on August 13.

It would be hard for Zone S to top such a vibrant & varied act. And it didn't.
55 finds:
  • Building materials: 1
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 1
  • Fishing misc.: 0
  • Food-related plastics: 6
  • Food-related metal/glass: 5 (inc. another small scrap of aluminum can - they keep showing up randomly, what's that about?)
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 2 (rubberband & bit of electrical tape)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 37 (32 local + 5 possible floaters)
  • Paper/wood: 2
  • Misc./unique: 1 (golf tee - or maybe truck-stop "peg jumping" game piece?)
In this one morning, on two stretches of a small, lightly-used Maine beach -- that I had picked clean just a week before -- I found 182 cigarette butts, 55.2% of the 330 pieces of trash overall. There are towns in Maine that are seriously looking at banning smoking on the beach. I'm beginning to understand why.


  1. How did your beach walk/collection go the other day? Thanks for all your recent comments on The Daily Ocean!


  2. Hey! Weather held me off until this morning. But I'm kinda glad. Big storms yesterday, and some really interesting stuff washed up as a result. (Teaser pic on today's post.)