Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Collection Report Dec 16, 2010

Good morning from Bay View beach, Saco, Maine. A crisp 23 degrees at 11:30AM.
So many footprints
I think I might be getting the hang of this. Recent storms leave little flotsam visible, while gentle waves seem to bring it in abundance. This was a gentler week (minus one big storm), so my hunch was I'd find a good haul. And I was right.
Waves gathered together a
pile of wood chips...
...and more
At Bay View, "stuff" tends to stick together. Somehow, all these various bits & bobs manage to find each other, and make something larger than themselves. It happened the week before too...
Dec. 8, more of nature's handiwork
...only to be blown apart by a fierce storm on Dec. 12:
Dec. 13, same spot
I'm watching a Teaching Company series now on the physics of history; there's great tidbits on how stars & planets coalesced from dust. And, in a way, I'm watching the same things happen right in front of my eyes - on a smaller scale.

I also love that different flotsam tends to come to shore in different weeks. Curt Ebbesmeyer wrote about this in Flotsametrics. He tells how the slightest shifts in wind or warmth or density can utterly rewrite the map of surface currents, gyres, eddies, etc. At Bay View, December 16 was the day of the aluminum can.
Delicious irony
All told, I pulled up 20 scraps of soda/beer can - which blows the roof off the 6-month curve. And proves that you just never know. Also, this day greeted me with 3 shoe soles, when usually I find zero. Plus two new lobster traps, probably brought near the shore by the storms and then carried to the sand by the calmer waves.
Tag # 9488 A1 0206 ME 06 Z:G
Tag # 6814 A1 0225 ME 08 EEZ Z:G
Intact, still w/40 feet of buoy rope
So a very interesting day. On to the counts. Zone N:
74 finds:
  • Building materials: 4 (asphalt, plaster from bucket, wooden floorboard scrap, slat)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing misc.: 15 (trap bumper, trap scrap, 5 scraps of trap coating, claw band, rope, trap name tag (B. Emmerson 461), shotgun shell, sinker, 3 shell waddings)
  • Food-related plastics: 5 (ketchup pack, bottle cap, cap seal, bit of straw, torn-off packet corner)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 18 (10 can tops/bottoms, 5 can scraps, 3 bottle caps)
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 24 (2 bags, scrap of siding, lg o-ring, small o-ring, bandaid, 7 scraps, 1 hard escutcheon scrap, bottle cap pull, rubbery buoy (?) top, 2 vinyl scraps, lacework, clear circle, black molded sphere top, clothes pin, electronics battery cover, piece of tube)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 1
  • Paper/wood: 2 (bar code, swiffer)
  • Misc./unique: 5 (shovel handle, glove, circuit board, leather shoe sole, bit of steel)
On to Zone S:
62 finds:
  • Building materials: 16 (5 slats, 2 metal plates, very worn composite lumber stair step, wiring sheath, 2 chunks asphalt, 5 asphalt roof tile bits)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing misc.: 10 (2 whole traps, rope, trap bumper, claw band scrap, 5 bits of trap coating)
  • Food-related plastics: 3 (collander, straw, gum wrapper)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 7 (2 sea glass, can, 4 can scraps)
  • Non-food/unknown plastics: 21 (bag, bag scrap, 7 various colored scraps, bit of blue upholstery vinyl, 2 bits of tube, tie strap, 2 rubberbands, o-ring, hairband, conditioner bottle, cap/plug, SKU tag, weatherstrip)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 1
  • Paper/wood: 1 (small wood block)
  • Misc./unique: 3 (2 shoe soles, 1 rubber floormat scrap)
So. 136 more pieces of garbage to add to the tally. Almost all of it from the sea. In one week. And there's no sign of it slowing down.

On a final note: Dear San Francisco Soap Company, #3 plastic is PVC, which releases serious toxins both in production and incineration. With all the other materials available, how about package your personal care products in something else?
We can do better

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