|A long morning - kelp beds carry far more than kelp|
This report will have limited commentary. The pictures are enough. Keep in mind, this is from tide line, a few hundred feet of beach in southern Maine, in 28 degrees F. The same stretch of beach I've cleaned fastidiously nearly every week since June.
First, "Zone N" - the northerly of the two sections I clean, closest to the public access, and more populated during the summer months.
- Building materials: 3
- Foam/Styrofoam: 3
- Fishing misc.: 75 (36 lobster claw bands, 14 bits of vinyl trap coating, lure, "Lunker Fishing" packet scrap, 1 webbed basket, sinker bead, 2 monofilaments, 19 bits of rope)
- Food-related plastics: 55 (11 scraps of #6 drinking cup, 17 bits of cutlery, 13 bottlecap seals, 1 "medium-well" steak tag, 2 bread tags, 11 misc.)
- Food-related metal/glass: 9 (7 can scraps, 2 bottle caps)
- Non-food/unknown plastics: 180 (you name it, it's there)
- Cigarette filters/plastics: 1
- Paper/wood: 1 (golf tee)
- Misc./unique: 14 (13 fabric scraps, 1 piece of cord)
|Summer's fare, lurking offshore til the storm|
|Misc. confetti of modern life|
|Closeup of some misc. plastic|
|Shovels, pail bits, umbrella bases, etc.|
|Broken ruler helps size other flotsam|
|Whither the missing comb teeth?|
|Aluminum cans degrading|
|The cost of a robust fishing economy|
|Many bands had apparent bite marks|
- Building materials: 1
- Foam/Styrofoam: 0
- Fishing misc.: 21 (12 claw bands, 3 vinyl trap coating bits, 1 shotgun shell, 5 bits of rope)
- Food-related plastics: 15 (7 bottlecap seals, 3 bread wrapper tags, bottle cap, spoon, fork tine, 2 scraps of drinking cup)
- Food-related metal/glass: 9 (can scraps)
- Non-food/unknown plastics: 89 (a little of everything)
- Cigarette filters/plastics: 2 (1 cigarette and one plastic cigar end)
- Paper/wood: 0
- Misc./unique: 0
|More fishing debris|
|July 19, what year?|
|Recycling doesn't close the loop;|
it restarts it
Last week there was a dustup when a researcher in Oregon suggested that the extent of plastic pollution was exaggerated. Here's how you can really find the truth. Look down at your feet. That's all you have to do.
Maine is nowhere near a great ocean gyre. Its currents are fed from the north by waters that flow along the least populated parts of the Atlantic Ocean. And yet here is the waste of modern life washing around me. Nearly 500 pieces of plastic along 500 feet of beach, when Maine's tidal shoreline is 3,500 miles.
So fine; it's true that the plastic doesn't swirl in a vortex twice the size of Texas.
It swirls everywhere.