Monday, July 5, 2010

Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project Trashy Talking Turtlers

Week 2: June 7 - June 13, 2010

Hi to all of you Trashy Talking Turtlers,
My, my, what a difference one week makes! Last week, many of you were happy to report that the litter was not that bad. This week, it has been a different story and many of you vented quite a bit of frustration about the situation.

Some of you were late reporting your totals for the first week, so I have changed those numbers accordingly: (Please do not hesitate to report even if you are late, as I can always change the numbers--I understand being late as we are all very busy)

Week 1:
Zone 0 = 3.5 bags
Zone 1 = 4.5 bags
Zone 2 = 7 bags
Zone 3 = 2 bags
Zone 4 = 5.5 bags
Zone 5 = 5.5 bags
Total for week 1 = 28 bags

Week 2:
We picked up trash in 26 of the 42 zones (61.9 percent)
Zone 0 = 2.25 bags
Zone1 = 9 bags
Zone 2 = 8.25
Zone 3 = 11 bags
Zone 4 = 6.5 bags
Zone 5 = 8.5 bags
Total for week 2 = 45.5 bags

Grand Total = 73.5 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.)
Good job at keeping our beach clean and plastic out of the mouths and stomachs of sea turtles and other marine animals. Hopefully, the turtles will take notice and come to nest at WB! Let's everyone send out welcoming vibes to the sea and all those mother turtles!

Trash vs. Treasure
Dick and Linda Chapman found more treasure in Zone 1 and can be found these days tossing a red competition Frisbee to anyone who will play.

Renee Tevelow can now get ready to go out on the town after shopping" in Zone 2--she can clean up with her new washcloth, wear her two new T-shirts and socks, accessorize with her plastic bracelet and her new shade of lipstick.

Susan Miller found a red and black jacket in Zone 3 along with six pairs of flip flops and one pair of bright pink underwear along with two people sleeping in sleeping bags!

Mellissa found one yucky (unmentionable) in Zone 4 (which she picked up with the aid of a stick), three flip flops and brand new, unopened cigars that looked expensive. If she had not thrown them away, she could have used them with the unopened bottles of wine that she found last year! Oh, except for she doesn't smoke . . . . not even expensive cigars.

Kim Meyer found another (X-rated unmentionable) by the life guard stand in zone 1 along side a very large cork, but no bottle of champagne.

Joy Miller found an old box of fishing lures, three broken chairs, and one umbrella in Zone 5 along with several different sets of dog tracks.

Page and Sara also found animal tracks in Zone 5, but they looked like a deer, pig or goat? I know because she sent the picture to my cell phone (strange--I'm betting on the deer).

Richard and Sara found a message in a bottle in Zone 2 and I found a message in a bottle in Zone 4, but the bottle was plastic and unfortunately the message was sad.

Many of you are reporting straws, juicy drink straws and the plastic wrappers for these straws, plastic beach toys, plastic bottles, beer bottles and beer cans, lots of cigarette butts and cigarette packaging and balloons.

Numerous large holes were reported in zones 1, 4 and 5. Many of you took the time to fill in the holes--thank you so much.

Dog tracks were reported in zones 2 and 5 with an unleashed dog spotted with his owner in Zone 5.

A structure was left overnight in Zone 1.

Cigarette Numbers to Ponder
There are typically 20 cigarettes in a pack. Many people smoke a pack or more a day. If only 100 people (this is a small number of people and I am sure if a study were conducted, the numbers would be much, much, higher) who visited WB smoked a pack a day and extinguished their butts on the beach, then that would be 2,000 cigarette butts per day. In 90 days (or three summer months), the number would be 180,000 cigarette butts. That's a lot of butts and if you think about the weekends and summer holidays, you can imagine that there are more than 100 people on the beach per day smoking and being irresponsible with their butts. You don't have to walk far on the beach to see evidence of someone sitting, smoking and extinguishing their butts in the sand.

The Ocean Conservancy conducts an International Coastal Cleanup every year. Beginning in 1990, they added cigarette butts, cigar tips and cigarette packaging to their data card. Since then, cigarettes have been the largest amount of litter collected during these cleanups. In 2007, the number of butts, cigar tips and packaging collected totaled 1,971,551. Cigarette litter equals 38 percent of worldwide debris according to the Ocean Conservancy numbers!

Realistically, this is only a small amount of the actual cigarette butts that are disposed of improperly because not everyone who picks up litter will stop to pick up every cigarette butt they see. Admittedly, I am one of those people. As passionate as I am about litter, I do not have time to pick up all the butts nor do I even want to touch them as they are very disgusting and smelly. So, my hat is off to those of you who take the time and consideration to pick up all those butts. Thank you thank you thank you. By name this week, you are Kim Meyer, Kathleen and Morgan Britton, Mellissa Dionesotes and Chuck Warden.

If I left anyone out, I apologize. However, I know that we have ALL picked up cigarette butts and cigarette debris at some point during our walks!

So, with numbers like these, a smoking ban makes sense, in my personal opinion. Hopefully, the WB BOA will revisit this one day.

Friends of WBSTP and WB!
Karen Bailey and her husband frequent WB and were able to witness the excavation of our Onederful nest last year. They even videotaped it and posted it on YouTube. You can see the link here:

Well, needless to say, the Bailey's have become true friends of the sea turtles and they are currently visiting WB for a couple of weeks. Not only are they enjoying fun in the sun, but they are walking the beach in the mornings in Zones 3 and 4 picking up trash on their vacation! How awesome is that? I am truly inspired by them. Also, Karen was able to meet some of the volunteers on their walks and was truly inspired by our own Nancy Faye Craig and states she is now a Nancy Faye Craig wannabe! (me too)

Benefits of Looking for Turtle Tracks!
While we have not yet found a turtle nest on WB, walking the beach in the morning does afford us some really awesome experiences that does not include picking up litter. Below are pictures that were taken by volunteer Jen Upham. I hope everyone has been able to appreciate the beautiful sunrise! I cannot thank you enough for all you are doing. We may not be cleaning up the oil spill, but we are helping Mother Ocean!

Ginger Taylor

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