Monday, October 18, 2010

Collection Report Oct 7, 2010

As promised, the collection report from October 7. From my first steps on the beach, I knew the majority of my finds were going to be fence slats. I just didn't know how many:

Zone N
Zone S
But even with roaring waves & brutal winds, there were plenty of other goodies as well. Here's Zone N:
252 finds:
  • Building material: 104 (fence slats)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 50 (!!)
  • Fishing misc.: 9 (6 bits of rope, two trap tags, 1 lobster trap, heavily bashed)
  • Food-related plastics: 6
  • Food-related metal/glass: 5
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 28 (inc. balloon, piece of another balloon, "Tattoo" tag, white bow, happy face, umbrella base, and a bandaid)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 41 (25 local & 16 floaters)
  • Paper/wood: 4
  • Misc./unique: 5 (quarter -- who says this doesn't pay??, firework bit, 2 blobs of candle wax, half of plastic recycling tub washed in from New Brunswick, Canada)
Couldn't quite believe how many scraps of styrofoam I kept finding. Everywhere I looked, more little balls of polystyrene hiding amid the kelp, or down in some tiny hollow where the wind couldn't reach them.
Foam mix-and-match
Plus, of course, all the usual suspects...
Banner day for misc. plastics
On to Zone S:
186 finds:
  • Building material: 133
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 25
  • Fishing misc.: 5 (3 buoys/buoy scraps, 2 bits of rope)
  • Food-related plastics: 3
  • Food-related metal/glass: 1 (rotted scrap of aluminum can)
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 10 (inc. two toggles, balloon scrap, magazine packaging?)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 8 (2 local + 3 "floaters" + 3 cigar ends)
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Misc./unique: 1 (half of a Zodiac XDC deepwater inflatable boat -- not brought home!)
The foam frenzy of Zone N carried (unshockingly given the wind) through Zone S. It brought polystyrene bits both small, and not so small.
More foam fiesta -- trending blue in Zone S
Some storm ripped rope straight thru yellow buoy
All told, on October 7 I collected 438 pieces of debris. Even taking out the 237 bits of fencing, the rest of the numbers are still topsy-turvy from the height of summer: almost no food plastics, compared to 75 bits of foam & styrofoam. On the other hand, there were constants too: the ever-present cigarette, the colorful scraps of plastic that were all once intended to make life a little brighter, easier, more interesting.

When I started this so many months ago, I never really expected to find half a boat. But I find that little surprises me anymore. If man has made it, a specimen of it is probably in the sea, right now. Just waiting to surface again when the time is right.

All more proof that a beach without sunbathers is still daily visited by the waste of the modern world.

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