Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Collection Report - September 15, 2013

Saturday September 15. 1:15PM, near low tide. Mid-60s, nice seabreeze. Mostly sunny. Fall-like crisp air.
Beach looking still a lot like September 7. If maybe a bit more "unkempt." The live algae down low on the foreshore was still there -- though getting more muddled & ripped up. The low foreshore a jumble of cobbles & pebbles & boulders.

Higher against back of foreshore August's clusters & clumps of pebble-sized rocks were still there. But matted down. "Aging." Smushing themselves back down, unrestored by the late summer's weak waves.

Sadly those weak waves brought their payload of vinyl lobster trap bits again.
This time instead of up against the back of the foreshore, the bulk was strewn amid the standing water and boulders of the live-algae zone. A one-day slightly higher tide seems to have had enough energy to first spill over the foreshore berm, and then partially drag some of the vinyl load back down.

But again, there was no energy for bringing in large & heavy things like rope. It was another zero-rope day. And another sobering day.

1151 pcs of nonrope debris
1151 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 0
  • Fishing misc.: 1043 (979 vinyl lobster trap coating scraps, 5 bumpers, 5 trap parts, 54 claw bands)
  • Food-related plastics: 30 (bottlecap, 3 bottlecap o-rings, 24 cup scraps, cutlery scrap, straw scrap)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 2 (aluminum can scraps)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 11 (balloon, PhoneMate clip, Nifty Magnetic SpaceSaver Binder scrap, cord, cable tie, 2 plant stakes, anchor, 3 ring seals)
  • Scrap plastics: 64 ( 16 > 1" , 48 < 1" )
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 1 (tile scrap)
A couple of the wash-ins were kind of cool. An ancient phone clip from an old PhoneMate answering machine system:
And a very worn & aged scrap from a "Nifty Magnetic SpaceSaver Binder":
Neither of these makes sense as ocean debris. Yet both were in the ocean. Probably from either an accidental trash-bag rip near a gutter, or debris from a violent coastal storm years ago.

But of course, the story this week, as many weeks running, is the lobster trap debris:
979 pieces of vinyl. A record.

That's barely enough to recreate one lost lobster trap. In the hour & a half that I was picking these pieces up at least 6 more lobster traps were lost in the waters of the Gulf of Maine.

That's not sustainable.

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 8991
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 1812
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 5424

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Collection Report - September 7, 2013

Saturday, September 7. 5:45PM. An hr before low tide. 70 degrees or so. A little rain over the previous week, but still nothing in the way of storms. Very much still a summer, calm weather pattern. And a shore that looked largely the same:
And a little bit different. For one thing, this day the beach reeked. The wraack on the low foreshore was starting to rip from its cobbles, die and rot. The runoff coming back down into the ocean had turned into a cloudy goo in places.
The mounds of cobbles & pebbles on the back of the low foreshore from August were still here. Along with some newly washed in bits & bobs. The back of the low foreshore up to the end of the algae was very flat. Then there was a noticeable lip as beach angled upward. Going up, the accumulation fell away quickly.

Thanks to the gentle summer waves, lots of vinyl ended again up at the southern end of my zone. Crazy lots:
Higher up on the bone-dry backshore,  offshore breezes blew the soft sand back off of the last bits of uncollected winter rope. That gave me a rope count for this week, even though no new rope came in. All told, another very busy day.
32 pcs of rope, about 20 ft total
744 pcs of nonrope debris
776 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 3
  • Fishing rope/net: 32
  • Fishing misc.: 662 (617 vinyl lobster trap coating scraps, 3 bumpers, 5 parts, bait bag, entrance ring, fishing line, 34 claw bands)
  • Food-related plastics: 25 (2 bottle scraps, 2 bottlecap o-rings, 17 cup scraps, 2 bread tags, fork, plate scrap)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 0
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 15 (2 bag scraps, cigarette, floss, bandaid, toy house roof pc, packaging, 2 cable ties, crate seal, 2 tubings, anchor, end cap, contact lens solution label scrap)
  • Scrap plastics: 36 ( 14 > 1" , 22 < 1" )
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 3 (fabric piece, 2 sea glass)
It was a varied week. Lots of odd things across the spectrum. But really, there's still one story here:
Fix it, or drown in it. There are no other choices.

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 7840
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 1812
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 4435

Collection Report - August 30, 2013

A return to beach and late summer memories.

Friday Aug 30, 1PM. Bright sun. Sea breeze, upper 70s, puffy clouds in the sky at different layers. The beginning of Labor Day weekend. (A few families wandering around the cove at the far end, enjoying the last of summer.)
In the past 2 1/2 weeks since my August 11 visit, the waves had built mounds & collection spots of pebbles & cobbles along the back of the foreshore. But there was still a mass fresh green on the low foreshore -- algae still growing, not being ripped up. So whatever was going on, it was low energy overall.

Also, underfood I felt a lot of fine, soft sand blown up from foreshore onto the backshore. Dry sand, low waves, and seabreezes blowing it up, up, up. Gorgeous sand! Fine and white and soft as dust.

Sadly, lower down was anything but gorgeous. It was a shocking day for vinyl. The knolls of cobbles helped slow the water down and let the wrack/vinyl settle out into carpets. Every nook and layer of carpet was just flooded with the vinyl coatings of dead & rusted-out lobster traps.
I followed big smears of wrack-carpet and vinyl far down dozens of yards toward the water. I picked & picked all I could. But I know I didn't get it all. This handful came from a dozen square feet:
What a day. Yet in spite of all the vinyl, I collected exactly ZERO pcs of rope! Another sign of low energy. Big things like rope, trap vents, large plastic chunks -- they need energy to get into the cove. The tiny vinyl bits are the opposite, they like it calm.

And calm it was.
1065 pcs of nonrope debris
1065 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 0
  • Fishing misc.: 972 (928 vinyl lobster trap coating scraps (!), 3 trap parts, 2 bumpers, 38 claw bands, buoy o-ring scrap)
  • Food-related plastics: 30 (4 bottlecap o-rings, 19 cup scraps, 2 bread tags, mini-fork, spoon, 3 straws)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 1 (aluminum can bottom)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 19 (latex balloon, cigarette, hair band, toy truck front (old), 3 tubing pcs, 3 plant stakes, 8 upholstery scraps, cable tie)
  • Scrap plastics: 35 ( 8 > 1" , 27 < 1" )
  • Paper/wood: 1 (paper towel)
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 7 (5 sea glass, fabric scrap, pc of leather)
This here is the story of the Gulf of Maine:
Does anything else need to be said, really?

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 7064
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 1780
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 3818