Saturday, December 8, 2012

Curtis Cove Report - Nov 25, 2012

After a byweek and a big Thanksgiving feast, it was time to return to Curtis Cove....Sunday, 1:15PM. An hr before low-tide. 37 degrees, mostly cloudy & blustery. A cold day!
The beachface was returning to its "usual" shape after Sandy. Sand up high, exposed cobbles down at the low foreshore. And sheets of Sandy-dumped wrack. With its usual cargo.
Rope playing hide-and-seek
"Let's... Tie It!" And release it :(
Curtis Cove Protection Battalion
c.1975 Schlitz beer can top
It was an interesting week for washout patterns. Sand rivulets ran from NW to SE in bands down to the water's edge. My foot often went through what looked like solid sand, which was actually just resting on top of loose wrack. Also, with Sandy gone, the normally gentle sea returned. And gentle seas drop out smaller, finer plastics. Here's what I found:
174 pcs of rope, about 150 ft total
178 pcs of nonrope debris
352 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 174 (150 ft)
  • Fishing misc.: 74 (3 trap vents, 44 vinyl coating scraps, 4 bumpers, 3 trap nettings, trap tag, 3 bait bags, ring scrap, top of hard plastic buoy, 14 claw bands)
  • Food-related plastics: 30 (3 old bottles, 1 bottlecap o-ring, 18 cup scraps, 3 food wrappers, old fork scrap, 2 straws, 2 bread tags)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 6 (5 can scraps, bottle cap)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 24 (10 bag scraps, 2 balloons, eaten glove, jug top/cap, old truck scrap, soldier, shovel scoop, 3 cable ties, plant pot tag, long handle, POLICE tape, caulk scrap)
  • Scrap plastics: 36 ( 16 > 1" , 20 < 1" )
  • Paper/wood: 1 (air filter scrap)
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 7 (fabric scraps)
A varied mess this was! Much of the big debris & rope was clearly Sandy-related, and had been buried in the wrack back on November 10. But as predicted, the calmer seas brought back much of the more typical small debris to go along with it. All in all, some very interesting -- and sobering -- finds.
Bitten/mauled plastic glove
Lobster trap tag from 1996
Heavily encrusted trap vent
Sea-bottom-dragged Gatorade bottle
When this year started, there was a big question: All the trash that I first found at the beach, was it still coming in from week to week? Or had it built up over long years and was not actually a big issue?

Which does it seem?

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 11019
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 2661
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 4608

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