Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Curtis Cove Report - Feb 26, 2013

February 26, 2013. 2:00PM, a couple hours before low tide. My last cleanup of Year 1 at Curtis Cove! Bright sun, 40 degrees. Rough sea, but little wind.

The big breakers out on the outcrops at the head of the cove = soggy & sloppy sand & mud & wrack smeared up and down the shore. A real mess of a beach!

But the first hopeful signs of spring behind the backshore. As I had a big group of witnesses to my efforts this day:
The scooped-out sand and wave-dragged wrack from the backshore spoke of the power of the past week's seas.
And of course stormy days bring lots of plastic "gifts." Including ones that have no business on a beach. A soda/water bottle I could understand. But a honey-bear jug??
Even better, this week brought the remains of a plasticized menu from a Kennebunkport restaurant. From 2007!
We place restaurants right next to Maine's windy coast, and populate them with plastic plates, cups, bottles, ketchup packets, sauce tubs, salt & pepper shakers, forks & knives -- and now even menus. And we wonder why our ocean looks like it does.

So, surprising no one, a very busy day.
236 pcs of rope, about 550 ft total
110 pcs of nonrope debris
346 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 236 (about 550 feet)
  • Fishing misc.: 34 (19 bait bags, 3 vents, 2 trap tags, 8 vinyl coating scraps, bumper, clawband)
  • Food-related plastics: 23 (3 bottlecap seals, 16 cup scraps, drink wrapper, ketchup pack, honeybear jug, 2007 menu!)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 5 (2 whole/new cans, 3 can scraps)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 31 (11 bag scraps, 2 mylar balloon scraps, 2 latex balloons, 3 balloon strings, thread spool, tampon applicator, toy shovel handle, pressure-treatment tag from 1988, 5 cable ties, EXIT (?) sign scrap, 2 end caps, plunger scrap)
  • Scrap plastics: 13 ( 9 > 1" , 4 < 1" )
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 4 (2 gloves, 2 fabric pieces)
Yet again, fishing debris far & away took the gold this week. Stormy weather & choppy seas tends to fling floatable plastics up and over the outcrops at the cove's head, which is what happened here with the vents, bait bags, and trap tags.

The waves also brought weirdness. The honeybear, the 2007 menu. And this 25-year-old tag from a piece of pressure-treated lumber. Looking brand new!
Tampon applicators were a scourage for me at Bay View beach in Saco. Not many here at Curtis Cove, thankfully. But the cove isn't immune:
And, as always, the poignant bits of seabottom plastics with fish/crustacean bites & pokemarks all through them:
A heck of a thing we do to our world.

Year One Total counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 13854
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 4011 (~6600 feet)
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 5245


  1. I'll post anon for this as it is a bit too personal for a public comment. I wish more women knew about mooncups, they are so much better than tampons and pads and they also don't cause pollution. They are also very good for the pocket. Surfers against sewage are all for them. http://www.mooncup.co.uk/

  2. Thought you might enjoy this latest posting from a fellow Planetary Picker. http://cleaningbeaches. Some of the sentiments expressed seem to me to echo yours.

  3. Great work. If the Ocean could speak words I am sure they would be "Thank you so very much". Good on ya.