Friday, October 22, 2010

Collection Report Oct 13, 2010

Walking the shores of Ocean Park way back in March, I realized that our modern world was leaving its footprint in places never meant for it. And since then, I've longed for spotless sand underfoot. Both for myself and for my little girl. It might be too much to say I got that wish on October 13 at Bay View. But I did get a brief glimpse of what it might feel like.
Late morning, not a soul around
The weather-worn path even invited, with its splash of color...
Autumn weaves its way toward the shore
As I started my slow pacing up and down from dune to tide, back and forth, something occurred to me. I wasn't stooping over very much. In fact, as the morning wore on, only a few larger bits & bobs marred the scene.
Whole pack of gum (package found nearby)
Tortured scrap of cup
All told, I brought in the lightest Zone N haul since my first visit to Bay View back in June.
55 finds:
  • Building materials: 0
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 12
  • Fishing misc.: 0
  • Food-related plastics: 6
  • Food-related metal/glass: 1 (scrap of aluminum can)
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 5
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 24 (14 local + 10 floaters)
  • Paper/wood: 4
  • Misc./unique: 3 (scrap of cloth, gum pack, big of blue string)
Zone S told a very similar tale.
36 finds:
  • Building materials: 0
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 12
  • Fishing misc.: 2 (rope scrap, bit of plastic coating from lobster trap)
  • Food-related plastics: 2
  • Food-related metal/glass: 3 (including another scrap of aluminum can)
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 7
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 6 (1 local, 4 floaters, 1 plastic wrapper)
  • Paper/wood: 2
  • Misc./unique: 2
A grand total of only 91 bits of trash -- 1/4 of what I was finding at peak season! And most of it was quite small.

My enthusiasm is tempered. First, smaller doesn't equal better -- tiny bits of foam make it easily into tiny bellies. From there, they can ride up the food web and wreak their own special havoc. Second, the week saw strong offshore winds; floating garbage would have a tough time making it onto the beach, and dropped garbage would have an easy time making it into the ocean out of sight.

But still, sometimes it's OK just to stop and smile. This was a good day. And a window into a vista that once was, and can be again.

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