Friday, August 10, 2012

Curtis Cove Report - Aug 8, 2012

Wednesday August 8, 10:25AM. Low tide. Bright sun, some offshore wisps of cloud, hot inland but delicious at the coast. Along the rip-rap armoring protecting the roadway, the beach roses were in full bloom. Reds, pinks, and this dazzling snow-white beauty.
Rosa rugosa 
The cove itself was its usual tumble of fine gray sand and rounded pebble. Old wrack and fresh bright green algae mixed in bands.
Each receding wave marked its own line
It had only been 5 days since my last visit. But the mass of pebbles piled high up the foreshore near the lip of the berm spelled one thing: energy. The result of that energy was easy to find in some cases:
Fisherman's heavy-duty glove
In other cases, it meant poking a bit more between the rocks:
Lobster trap vinyl... so much of it
Some finds made a little bit of sense in an ocean context:
Ancient snorkel tube
Others less so:
Plant pot base/stand
All of which to say, even after just 5 days, a fearsome collection:
50 pcs of rope, about 40 ft total
831 pcs of non-rope debris
881 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 4 (industrial carpet scrap, 4" furniture base, window screen mesh scrap, plant pot bottom)
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 50
  • Fishing trap gear: 549 (515 trap vinyl scraps, 5 trap parts, 27 bumpers, property tag, bait bag)
  • Fishing misc.: 87 (84 claw bands, glove, bait tin, fishing line)
  • Food-related plastics: 52 (bottle scrap, 4 bottlecap o-rings, 36 drink-cup scraps, 7 small food wrapper scraps, 2 silverware scraps, 2 straws)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 11 (2 sea glass, 6 aluminum can bottoms/tops, 2 can scraps, bottlecap)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 22 (large baggie, 5 baggie scraps, finger from plastic glove, 3 bandaids, 2 molded "house" toy/dollhouse parts, rubber belt, snorkel, composite block, 2 'silk' circlets, plant tag, t-shirt tag, 2 cable ties, alarm clock scrap)
  • Scrap plastics: 98 (36 >1", 62 <1 li="li">
  • Paper/wood: 2 (fence slat, post)
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 6 (4 fabric scraps, leather offcut, hairband)
Wow! Everything but the kitchen sink. (Maybe I should have stuck around for another tide?) A lot of very old & heavy stuff too (much of the rubber was brittle and cracked, e.g.) A couple of the odder bits:
Somebody missed their wake-up!
Is that puncture from a fish tooth?
Yet another plant tag
With all the plant tags and plant-pot bases, it seems likely that some storm in the past several years took the entire contents of someone's back porch and dumped them all into the sea. Now they're coming back, one piece at a time.

And I can't end this post without one shot of those vinyl lobster-trap scraps.
I've collected 3,524 of these now here at the cove. That's just about enough to maybe put together -3- lobster traps. At least 38,000 lobster traps are lost by Maine fishermen in the Gulf of Maine each year. Some say the problem of plastic pollution in the ocean is exaggerated. I say that's not possible.

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 7669
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 1767
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 3524

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