Thursday, November 7, 2013

Collection Report - October 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 23. 8:30. Cold, about 40 degrees but still no freeze. Low, bright sun. The road was blocked with roadwork, so I walked in from first horseshoe coves just north of Curtis Cove. Being low tide, it was interesting to see the huge rip-rap wall here up close. 15 feet high, full of tumbled granite debris trying to hold back the sea & protect the causeway.
The ocean comes all the way up to this wall even on the weakest of high-tide here now. Left natural, the causeway & the one or two homes behind it would have been gone long long ago. Timber Point would be an island. The cost of maintaining the status quo will only increase as seas keep rising.

On to the main beach. Rounding the rocks I was greeted by three lovely sights: a long-beached piece of driftwood illuminated by the low sun:
More deer tracks high on the backshore:
And beautiful fall colors ringing the back of the cove:
Curtis Cove is a special place.

Down on the beach proper, by now the low foreshore was almost dead -- algae almost all gone with the passing of summer. But a huge amount of ripped-up kelp was strewn now across the back of the foreshore, mixing and churning with the old mounds of pebbles.
This is another sign of autumn energy. Even though weather has been kind this past week, the ocean is starting to grow more restless.

Curiously, this mass of large kelp was largely devoid of plastics. As usual, the heaviest spread of debris was at a smear of pulverized seaweed that lay in front of this mass. In this case most everything I found lay in about a 20x30 area of the whole beach (plus some very old small bits of rope uncovered at the backshore by shifting sands).

Here's what turned up:
19 pcs of rope, about 10 ft total
203 pcs of nonrope debris
222 finds:
  • Bldg material/furniture: 0
  • Foam/styrofoam: 0
  • Fishing rope/net: 19
  • Fishing misc.: 171 (163 vinyl lobster trap scraps, trap part, 7 claw bands)
  • Food-related plastics: 8 (5 cup scraps including full styrofoam cup, 2 food tub scraps, very abraded silverware handle)
  • Food-related glass/metal: 0
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 6 (very abraded non-food bottlecap, cigarette, plant stake, 2 cords, cable tie)
  • Scrap plastics: 17 ( 7 > 1" , 10 < 1" )
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Non-plastic misc./unique: 1 (seaglass)
Lobster vinyl debris yet again wins the day.
With it same various old & very abraded bits & bobs, which had obviously spent some years out in the ocean.

If we stop dumping plastics in the ocean tomorrow, our grandchildren will still be finding ours washing up. But maybe -- maybe -- their grandchildren would have clean shores again.

Running YTD counts:
  • Total pcs of litter -- 10490
  • Total from fishing -- 9206 (87.8%)
  • Pcs fishing rope -- 1921
  • Vinyl lobster-trap scraps -- 6562

1 comment:

  1. sorry prev blog posting had an error.
    The Flotsam Diaries made "The Vermont Litter Times" headlines @