Monday, July 9, 2012

Collection Report June 23, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012. 8:00AM Bay View beach, Saco, Maine.
Summer in Maine, back again
This day marked a very big milestone -- the completion of my second full year studying Bay View! Though there is much to reflect on, for now, into the collection.

The fierce storm of June 3 was already fading from Bay View's mind.
Much of the advance line of dunegrass survived; later tides & winds quickly resculpted the shore to brush over the erosion & damage. In fact, the storm & outwash actually created a nice, long flat terrace between the dunegrass & foreshore. The perfect place for summer crowds to pitch their tents. Nature is a marvel.

Speaking of summer crowds, they're back. The trash signature proved that. Zone N:
138 finds:
  • Building materials: 0
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 10
  • Fishing misc.: 6 (4 rope, claw band, trap tag)
  • Food-related plastics: 20 (2 bottles, 4 bottlecaps, 2 cup-top scraps, 11 food wrappers, straw)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 10 (bottle, bottlecap, 8 pcs foil)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 34 (8 plastic bags/baggies, hairclip, 4 scraps <1", bucket handle, 2 figurines, sand rake, 2 lightsticks, shovel handle, 9 plastic packaging, lubricating oil tube, black tape, strapping, tarp scrap, mesh)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 34 (32 filters, 2 packaging)
  • Paper/wood: 22
  • Misc./unique: 2 (fabric scraps)
Yes, the summer crowds are back. And as always, they congregate at Zone N, leaving the southern area much freer of debris. Zone S:
49 finds:
  • Building materials: 0
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 7
  • Fishing misc.: 4 (rope, trap scrap, trap tag, shotgun shell)
  • Food-related plastics: 9 (bottle, 3 bottlecaps, 4 food wrappers, straw)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 3 (can, 2 sea glass)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 12 (baggie, 3 balloons, balloon ribbon, bleach bottlecap, 3 scraps >1", 2 scraps <1", nonfood packaging)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 9
  • Paper/wood: 4
  • Misc./unique: 1 (fabric)
No surprises here. This is the debris that beachgoers leave at a sunny, summery beach. I saw it in summer 2010. And summer 2011. And now summer 2012. How many more summers, until we finally change the game?

And there we are. Full circle, again. Two summers, two falls, two winters, two springs. 14,000 pieces of trash, Hurricane Earl, TS Irene, the December Storm of 2010, and June's no-name beast. Ice crystals, sand dollars, rivulets, beach cusps. Dog walkers, wrack lines, sea glass, dunegrass. Sand bars, beached boat, demolished convent, seal carcass.

Bay View has been such an eye-opening place. It taught me that in a plastic world, there is no "away." Yet now I find that lesson coming home to roost about 5 miles south, at Curtis Cove. Where there are no tourists, but there's more garbage per foot than the worst day that Bay View threw at me. So much more to learn, and to share.

For the moment, I leave Bay View to rest, though probably to return now & then. Curtis Cove will keep me -- and sadly generations after me -- plenty busy.

1 comment:

  1. I lived near the beach for around 10 years. I remember the convent so well. I will visit the area next month. I heard the convent was for sale but did not know about it being demolished. Wow, what a change. Last time I visited the area was 2006.