Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Collection Report Oct 12, 2011

The times, they are a-changing.
Bay View, Wednesday October 12, 2011. 12:30PM. A day of clouds & chill gathering after an astounding Indian Summer weekend of 80 degrees and bright sun. The sea this week had been busy, the wrack line pregnant with plastic:
A winter wrack line
Ghost of feasts past
As well as other oddities from the deep!
Ruby wishes I'd brought this home
So what all turned up on the two 250-ft stretches of beach this week? Zone N:
178 finds:
  • Building materials: 1 (asphalt)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 30
  • Fishing misc.: 23 (13 clawbands, 6 rope scraps, trap bumper, buoy scrap, trap vinyl coating scrap, reel cap)
  • Food-related plastics: 6 (3 wrappers, bottlecap ring, 2 chewing gum)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 5 (2 cans, 1 can scrap, 2 glass shards)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 40 (7 bag scraps, 3 cords/ties, rubber band, chair leg foot, netting, 3 hairclip scraps, bandaid, glove, sticker, toy shovel handle, 10 scraps >1", 10 scraps <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 64 (62 filters, 2 packaging)
  • Paper/wood: 4 (2 wood firecracker sticks, 2 scraps)
  • Misc./unique: 5 (sock, fabric, 2 flipflops, battery)
This is a strange mix. The beautiful summer-like weekend no doubt brought the flipflops and beer can. But this:
and this:
look a lot more like winter debris than summer.

Especially when you take into account Zone S:
88 finds:
  • Building materials: 1 (asphalt)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 11 (inc. large chicken? grocery package chunk)
  • Fishing misc.: 22 (8 rope, 10 claw bands, shotgun shell, 3 trap vinyl scraps)
  • Food-related plastics: 10 (2 bottlecaps, bottle, 6 food wrappers, old broken fork)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 2 (can scraps)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 22 (balloon, Listerine packet, 3 bandaids, 4 strapping, 7 scraps >1", 6 scraps <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 11
  • Paper/wood: 3 (paper scrap, 2 wood firecracker sticks)
  • Misc./unique: 6 (4 fabric, tennis ball, candle wax)
For the past several months, Zone S has been averaging only ~1/8 as much debris as Zone N. This week it was up to 1/2. Clearly a bounty from the sea, spread up and down the shoreline. Lots of vinyl and other far-traveled scraps, including this oddity:
"Sealed: Do Not Remove"
I can only wonder what the story is there.

At any rate, a very interesting week. For one thing, lobster trap vinyl coatings were back! These dense bits of plastic coating from rusted lobster traps used to show up all the time. Then, back in May or June, they stopped. For months not one bit of dense vinyl made it to Bay View. Vinyl is much denser than seawater, and sinks to the bottom. (As did the mussel shells, fish bones, etc. that also arrived this week.) So for months it seems that sea-floor currents weren't bringing stuff into Bay View, now suddenly they are again. What will that bode for future weeks? Guess I just have to wait and see.

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