Monday, July 5, 2010

Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project Trashy Talking Turtlers Week 4

Week 4: June 21 - June 27, 2010

Hi Trashy Talking Turtlers,

As you know, we still have not found any turtle tracks, but many of you responded that you would be sending out prayers and positive energy and some of you are even lighting candles for the turtles. I, myself, have added a candle-lighting to my routine and I make sure I wear my turtle necklace on my monitoring days. This week, I even wore turtle Silly Bandz! I will not give up. Surely one mother sea turtle will find WB a great place for her clutch this year. Carolina Beach just found their first nest this week, so I know it is not too late. OMMMMM!

We are also not giving up on having a clean beach when Mother Sea Turtle does emerge to lay her clutch. I know it can be difficult to pick up trash every week, so I sincerely thank you for all of your efforts.

Numbers for Week 4:
We picked up trash in 22 of the 42 zones (52 percent)
Zone 0 = 2.5 bags
Zone 1 = 5 bags
Zone 2 = 11 bags
Zone 3 = 8 bags
Zone 4 = 8 bags
Zone 5 = 6.5 bags
Total for Week 4 = 41 bags

Grand Total since June 1 = 166.5 bags!!!(and as always this does not include all of the beach towels, chairs and other random items that are too large for the bags.)

Trash vs. Treasure
I know that it seems I mention Renee in this section every week. Here is why: she walks Zone 2 (Johnnie Mercer’s Pier) on Monday mornings--lots of trash! Week 4 was no exception for her. She collected seven bags of trash and said she could have gotten more. Part of this trash included a dirty diaper (for the second week in a row--yuck). I don't understand why people think it is a good idea to leave dirty diapers on the beach or in parking lots or anywhere but the trash can, for that matter; but lots of people will leave dirty diapers by Johnnie Mercer’s Pier. I know because I once walked this zone as well, on a Monday, no less. I'm sure anyone who walks this zone can echo the same sentiments--it really does seem unbelievable how others leave their trash for the ocean to consume or for others to clean up. In fact, it was walking Zone 2 on a Monday morning that prompted my interest in collecting all of this data--imagine that!

Among her loot, Renee reported that she also picked up Ben's towel. She knew it was Ben's towel because it had his name on it! (See how funny you guys are--I love it!) The good news is that when Renee returned from her monitoring walk, the public works crew had arrived and were also picking up trash under the pier. The bad news for Renee, they also took her flip flops--oops! So when you guys find nice flip flops on your walks, please check with Renee to see if they are her size before you discard them--she could use a new pair!

Bonnie and Suzie picked up trash on Saturday around Johnnie Mercer’s and they also described it as a trash haven.

Dr. Doss and Chris also pick up litter in Zone 0 every week. They have a pattern of always finding eye wear of some sort whether it is sunglasses, goggles or eyeglass pieces—interesting . . . . wonder if this is just a favorite gathering place of discarded eye wear?

Angela found evidence of romance or skinny dipping or streaking in Zone 0 as she found panties and tighty whities.

Susan Miller walks Zone 3 and she found evidence of another kind--a fake breast. (I laugh even as I type it.) Oh, I'll just copy her e-mail here as it contains lots of good info besides:

Hi Ginger,
It was a beautiful morning at the beach today--although very hot, even at 6 a.m.! I collected two full bags of trash in Zone 3. Today I decided to bring all of the trash home with me, since most of it could be recycled, rather than throwing it in the trash bins on the beach. I almost gave up because the bags got so heavy.
I was shocked and appalled by the number of cigarette butts I picked up today- a total of 176, and that was from just one small strip of the beach! I also collected a large number of glass beer bottles. Among the more interesting things I found were a fake breast of some kind, which I suppose one could call a cutlet, and a very sparkly silver flip flop.
Right when I arrived at the beach today, I saw a gentleman playing with his dog a bit down the way. I began to rehearse what I would say to him in my head, but before I even got to him, a police officer zoomed by on an ATV. I felt a little bit bad for the guy, but also grateful as well, since the dog was not even on a leash.
Susan also edits the WB Sea Turtle Project Facebook account. If you have not checked us out on Facebook, please do. Susan does a fantastic job. You can see a picture there of the 176 cigarette butts that she collected.

Chuck Warden always finds construction lumber in Zone 5. Pretty soon he will have enough to build his own beach house!

In General
Most of you felt this week was cleaner than usual and some even expressed that the trash seems to be less this year. Well, you know me, I pulled out last year's report and found that we have actually collected more trash this year.

Last year, our total on week 4 was 131 bags as compared to this year at 166.5. This does not necessarily mean that the beach is not cleaner this year, but it does simply mean that we have absolutely collected more trash. I hope all of you are proud of your good stewardship of the Earth--it means a lot.

We did find less holes and structures this week, so that is a good thing. Maybe there has been better enforcement.

Volunteers did find dog poop in Zones 4 and Zones 5 on different days.

And as always, there were lots of cigarette butts....

Behind the Scenes
I know we feel alone sometimes, but we are not. Most people would like to see the litter situation improve. And although most people or groups of people are not monitoring the beach every single day for 90 days as we are, others do help.

As noted earlier in this newsletter, the public works deptartment works very hard to help keep litter off our beach.

Next week, the WB Anti-Litter Committee will hold its first meeting. This alone shows that the town and its officials are interested in moving toward better solutions in dealing with the litter problems that we are documenting here.

Alderman, Lisa Weeks picked up litter a couple of weekends ago around Johnnie Mercer’s Pier and also noted this as a problem area.

Many organizations also spend their time and resources in collecting litter from the beach. I will not name them as I know I would leave some out.

Former mayor, Stephen Whalen also walks our beach and picks up litter.

We truly are in this together, even if we have differing opinions on how to solve the problem. I am so glad to be a part of a group that is both respectful to Mother Earth and fellow human beings!

4th of July!
It is coming--so get ready. Fireworks remnants have already been seen on the beach, so expect more of this next week.

I truly hope you enjoy the holiday! But even more than that, I truly hope you find a nest! OMMMM!

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