Monday, February 20, 2012

(Un)Collection Report, Jan 23, 2012

Once again, playing catchup! So, a return back to an interesting late January at Bay View beach, Saco, Maine. 1/23, 1:00PM, about 2 hours after high tide.

This day brought two things that had been missing from Saco Bay for months:
Wild times at Bay View. One of the three washed-in traps had readable tags, the most recent being 2007. Would love to know its 4+ year story. Same with this mangled beast:
Fisherman's boot
That boot wasn't lost yesterday.

Yet for all the energy on display, the angry waves at first seemed to have left little else behind.
Blank slate
Other than the traps & boot (which lay north of my collection zones), there was nothing to see. It took a little (literal) digging, but I found out why.
Scraping down from six inches to (in places) over a foot and a half, I uncovered fresh, buried snow from the week's snowstorm. After the snows, the sea dumped countless tons of heavy, gritty sand as a blanket. Burying everything. A pretty major shore-sculpting event, following on from the rocky deposits left the week before. Quite strange -- the weather had been blustery, but enough to bring up that kind of sand?

The flipside is, sand is pretty much all that got left, at least on the surface. Maybe plastics were mixed in. But there was no way to dig through everything to find it. So this trip was a very fast, and very unsatisfying, collection.

Zone N:
10 finds:
  • Building materials: 1 (asphalt)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 7
  • Fishing misc.: 0
  • Food-related plastics: 0
  • Food-related metal/glass: 0
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 2 (baggie, bandaid)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 0
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Misc./unique: 0
Otherwise known as: nothing.

Zone S:
11 finds:
  • Building materials: 1 (asphalt)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 5
  • Fishing misc.: 2 (rope scrap, vinyl trap coating)
  • Food-related plastics: 1 (ketchup wrapper)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 0
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 1 (vinyl siding scrap)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 1
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Misc./unique: 0
Otherwise known as: still nothing.

I don't know where the sand from this big wash-in came from. Whether it was carried in suspension by a choppy sea for miles, or dredged up from the terrace line right here at Bay View. All I know is that this was a sand week. Some weeks are vinyl, some polyethylene, some asphalt, some shell, some seaweed. This was just gritty, heavy, pure sand.

So, again, oceans are amazing things. And you never visit the same beach twice.


  1. I tell retailers, we never know where it (littered trash) all comes from, however just like snow, we need to pick it up even if we did not put it there ourselves.

    Pls. feel free to redeem Clean UP coupon @


  2. I love that coupon idea! We just visited a restaurant last night -- one that prides itself on its "green-ness" -- that had no trash cans outside and a parking lot full of blown-in litter. The litter wasn't theirs, but certainly didn't help their image to have it there!