Monday, January 28, 2013

Curtis Cove Report - Jan 11, 2013

Friday January 11, 12:55 PM, ~2 hrs before low tide. Gray and windy. Two weeks since last visit; lots of the same plus a little change. The wrack from Dec. 24 was still there, now smeared up and down the backshore. No new goop in the mix. It seems the past two weeks had been relatively low energy, just a reshuffling of the deck.
With the old seaweed spread about, more of its plastic load lay now on the surface. And it was fearsome. There are at least 9 pieces of plastics in this square foot:
And of course, the ubiquitous balloons.
Launched from miles -- or hundreds of miles -- away, to end up here.

It was a depressing week for plastic garbage. But I did see something kind of fun:
This is a slipper shell (a kind of snall) upside-down attached to a small stone. A seagull was lifting and dropping this stone over & over, trying to shatter the shell against the cobbles of the low foreshore. Except, this week there were no cobbles on the foreshore! December's storm reshaped the beach, burying the low ground under soft, fine sand. The gull, clearly used to a rocky shoreface, was doing what he always did in order to break open a shell. And he was clearly confused why it wasn't working!

Ecology in action.

I'll be interested to see how long it is before the sand washes back away and the shore is "healed" to its more usual form. In the meantime, this was a busy week of collection, especially for rope.
232 pcs of rope, about 550 ft total
203 pcs of nonrope debris
435 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 232 (~550 ft)
  • Fishing misc.: 90 (49 vinyls, 6 bumpers, 4 trap tags, 14 bait bags, 4 trap mesh, 2 parts, 2 vents, 7 clawbands, shotgun shell, buoy handle)
  • Food-related plastics: 32 (3 bottles, 3 bottlecap rings, 9 cup scraps, 10 tops/scraps, salad dressing packet, 6 straws)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 4 (4 can scraps)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 42 (13 bags/scraps, 2 mylar balloons, latex balloon, balloon string, golfball, 10 cords/cable ties, big wingnut, 5 upholstery scraps, 4 pcs tape, crate seal, pen cap, Victorinox knife handle, tubing)
  • Scrap plastics: 27 ( 10 > 1" , 17 < 1" )
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 8 (5 fabric pieces, 3 gloves)
Just a mess. No other word for it. So much that could be discussed, but I'll point out just one bit. All of this food-related debris originated somewhere else:
Whether a fishing boat, pleasure boat, beach up the road, seaside in Nova Scotia, or city drain in Portland. All from somewhere else, and most of its spent a long time in the ocean. Note the marine-life bite/poke marks on things like this remnant of red Solo cup:
Or this blue cheese salad dressing packet:
When your life is packaged in plastic, it never really goes away.

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 12271
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 3313
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 4742

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