Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Collection Report Sept 18-19, 2010

After a week hiatus, Saturday September 18 saw me back at Bay View beach, my journalist friend Rick with me. We got there about 9AM, and spent close to three hours wandering, collecting, and chatting through Zone N. Try imagining this picture in July or August:
View of Zone N at 11:00AM; summer is definitely over
Other than one sunbather (who had abandoned Kennebunkport's beaches due to the dog waste), we had the place almost all to ourselves. It was a great walk, and a great talk. And, strangely, really nice to be bagging debris again. Even the ugly and the stinky:
Post-season revelries
Chum-laced fishing net
In a turn that will surprise nobody, the cooler weather and end of summer vacation brought a change in the haul from weeks past. Zone N, laid out:
219 finds:
  • Building material: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 8
  • Fishing misc.: 6 (3 claw bands, 1 piece of lobster trap bumper, flare shell, plus large netting with rotted chum -- tossed out at beach, not brought home!)
  • Food-related plastics: 14 (inc. bottle with lid sawn off??)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 14
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 29 (inc. shopping bag & bag bits, bucket handle broken in two, rotted structural plastic chunk/end cap (?), nylon rope, small red rosette, multi-pin computer board piece (?), white leaf (matched one found September 4), claw-shaped thing like many found before)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 129 (122 local, 4 likely floaters, 3 plastics)
  • Paper/wood: 16 (inc. kite instructions)
  • Misc./unique: 3 (2 bits of firework and gum)
The food and beach plastics are way down. Sadly, the cigarette count -- and non-food plastics -- are just as high.

As always, there were surprises, plus a couple poignant moments.
Do I want to know why this was modified?
More irony
The next morning, I finally made a return to Zone S. I hadn't done a collection there for a few weeks (busy weeks at that, with a windstorm and a hurricane near-miss!). So it's hard to say much about the numbers here. But at least this will give me a new "autumn" baseline.

The goods:
104 finds:
  • Building material: 2
  • Foam/styrofoam: 6
  • Fishing misc.: 4 (3 claw bands, 1 piece of lobster trap bumper)
  • Food-related plastics: 11 (inc. Dairy Queen sundae cup and spoon, Slim Jim, Laffy Taffy, Wrigley Spearmint, GoGurt Strawberry Splash, Stringsters String Cheese)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 2 (inc. aluminum can with spongy mass (fish eggs??) growing all over it)
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 16 (VO5 Tea Therapy label, shampoo top, hard red lens/cap edge, small green cap from a mist bottle (?), bubblewrap with tape, orange toy chain (?) scrap, scrap of rigid gray wire sheath)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 58 (35 local, 23 likely floaters)
  • Paper/wood: 3
  • Misc./unique: 2 (faded & tattered flag, tennis ball)
The biggie of this? 23 "floater" cigarettes -- the paper stripped away, the filter mesh bleached white. After everything I've learned about the sheer scale of cigarette trash, it's not surprising. But it's still a wake-up to see it. How many more are polluting our waters right now? How many more are being added every day?

Here's a few of the other highlights from my return to Zone S.
Expecting a winter full of these
A long and tortured tale
Mmm. Life...
Colorful "Huh??"s
So, as Maine transitions from beach weather to decidedly -not- beach weather, the finds are shifting. I'm all set to watch, record, and catalog it. And, as always, try to learn a thing or two.

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