Thursday, September 16, 2010

Collection Report Sept 4, 2010

Following on from this post about the scene at Bay View beach, Saco, Maine the morning after former-hurricane Earl barely missed us.

I knew when I got home I had a big haul. Both from the flotsam washing up right in front of my eyes and the remnants of late-summer fiestas.
42 individual sparklers... not that I counted
Overall, it was an astounding catch. Here's Zone N:
411 finds:
  • Building material: 0
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 12 (inc. two pieces of Dunkin Donuts coffee cup)
  • Fishing misc.: 12 (4 claw bands, 5 pieces of rope, 2 trap tags, 1 trap tag scrap)
  • Food-related plastics: 59 (inc. Ritz PB crackers, Quaker Chewy oatmeal bar, Sunbelt Choc Chip cookies, Twizzlers, Reese's PB cup, Snickers bar, organic vanilla yogurt, label from Granny Smith apple, label from Fuji apple)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 12 (inc. 5 bottle caps: Mike's Hard Lemonade, Twisted Tea, Miller Lite, and 2 Blue Moon Brewing Co.)
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 70 (inc. bits of plastic shopping bags, 4 bandaids, rabbit-shaped Silly Band, insole (?) labeled "RIVER", 4 rubber bands (maybe from sandwiches), beach umbrella base, "leaf" from toy or ornament, and 15 bashed-around scraps of hard plastic -- most likely washed in)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 168 (152 local, 10 likely floaters, 6 plastics)
  • Paper/wood: 26 (inc. burned Spanish-language magazine bits found at bonfire, label from plastic water bottle, Budweiser label scrap, pharmacy receipt, Reny's "Paid" sticker, two salt packets, ice-cream cone wrapper)
  • Misc./unique: 52 (inc. 42 sparklers, sock, towel tag, velcro scrap, 4 firework scraps, nylon seam reinforcement strip)
Just... wow. 411 finds shatters the Zone N record. It shatters the combined N/S record. 162 cigarettes shatters that record. The bashed-up, washed-in plastic scraps are sobering, the trap tags and claw bands ever-present after any storm. The food wrappers in their bright, happy colors...

Of all the bits & bobs, a few that caught my eye:
What "162 cigarette butts" looks like
Shards of mostly waterborne plastics
Two of the ~1 million tags lost annually
Nope, burning plastic still doesn't get rid of it
Which claw band's been in the water the longest?
Needs no caption
It just keeps coming.

By the time I'd finally finished picking up Zone N, there was again no time to check Zone S. And other commitments kept me away for the days afterward. So again, sadly no comparison between "busy" Zone N and "quiet" Zone S. But this coming weekend an old friend I haven't seen in a very long time will be visiting with me. And for some strange reason, he also thinks a nice way to spend a Saturday morning is picking up other folks' trash at the beach! So we just might have a Zone N-and-S post again soon.


  1. Harry -

    Thank you for your diligence. I can't believe the painstaking effort that goes into typing up all your finds. I know how disheartening it is to shatter records, like you said. But the solace is in the fact that you have another crazy friend you've never met out here in LA who thinks a good way to spend most days is picking up other people's trash off the beach and then talking about it!

    keep it up

  2. Strength in numbers! And proof that whatever crazy pastime someone has, there's probably someone else out there doing it too. Thx for all your work, West Coast friend! Loving the sunset pictures.