Monday, July 2, 2012

Collection Report June 6, 2012

After six months of lull, nature re-awoke at Bay View beach on Sunday, June 3. I took my daughter to check out the high tide. But after seeing what it was doing, we didn't stay long.
My daughter enjoying the view & sea-foam for a moment
This was a no-name storm, little predicted before, little reported afterward. Inland, it was wet & windy, but unremarkable. At the shore, the violence was palpable. And hitting as it did at one of the month's highest high tides, it left this in its wake (pics from June 4):
Washed in from far away
In one or two hours, fierce waves completely remade a beach that had been slowly built up and shaped and tweaked over months. Different parts of the beach handled the onslaught differently.
Massive erosion against the seawalls
that protect homes S of my usual zones
While Bay View's advancing dune held
much sand steady even tho taking a hit
When a storm wave bangs against a seawall, the energy ricochets, hurling back toward the sea and pulling masses of sand with it. Meanwhile, dunegrass disperses much of that energy, sinking it into the sands and breaking it up, so less gets pulled back out to the deep. A seawall is a death knell to a beach. In the above picture, you can see the post stumps of an earlier seawall that had to be abandoned decades ago. How long will this one last?

As expected, the violence of the storm left much manmade litter behind, caught up in the dunes and higher ground:
Congrats, you landed.
Is this 2 pcs, or 2,000?
So when I did my full clean-up on Wed., June 6, what did I find? Well, Zone N:
136 finds:
  • Building materials: 0
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 114
  • Fishing misc.: 6 (2 buoys, 1 scrap buoy, 1 rope, 1 lobster claw band, 1 fishing line)
  • Food-related plastics: 5 (2 bottles, 1 gallon-sized juice jug, 2 bottlecaps)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 2 (aluminum can, beer bottle)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 8 (3 bag scraps, 4 balloons, 1 non-food packaging)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 0
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Misc./unique: 1 (wine bottle cork - true cork)
The large chunks of foam aren't consumer-product foam. They're insulation and backing, ripped from structures somewhere far away. Almost all of this was up amid the dunegrass.

On to Zone S:
114 finds:
  • Building materials: 0
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 93
  • Fishing misc.: 6 (1 buoy, 2 buoy scraps, 1 plastic rope, 1 non-plastic rope bit, shotgun shell)
  • Food-related plastics: 4 (2 bottles, plastic cork, straw)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 1 (aluminum can)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 9 (4 bag scraps, shoulder strap cushion, 2 flip-flops, mixing cup, insulin syringe)
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 0
  • Paper/wood: 1 (wood fence slat)
  • Misc./unique: 0
More of the structural foam. More of the same everything. (The syringe with its very sharp needle poking out was sobering.) There was little difference between Zones N & S this week -- the storm saw to that!

Sooner or later, every shoreline wakes from its occasional "dream of peace." Bay View woke up on June 3, 2012. The sandbar that spent months approaching, and finally beaching -- building cusps higher than even the fronts of the dunes by May -- was obliterated in a few hours. The shoreface utterly scoured & changed in the blink of an eye.

The ocean is a pitiless, wondrous thing.

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