Monday, September 13, 2010

Trashy Talking Turtlers

Hi, all.  Yes, it is another Trashy Talking Turtler newsletter.  And why not?  Nancy Fahey is still out there every morning on her ATV looking for nests and picking up trash. It also gives me a reason to connect with you all again.

Nancy adds to our total:
Nancy has been going strong for nine days and although she has not found any new turtle tracks, she has found plenty of human tracks. Since Sept. 1, she has collected 27 bags of trash. So, this brings our total to 523.24 bags of trash.

Balloons and Wrightsville Beach
Nancy has also kept track of the number of balloons she has collected from our shore and so far her total is 24! This lets us all know that we have some educating to do.

I was at the WB BOA meeting tonight to show off some trash (more about that below) and at the end of the meeting Mayor Cignotti and the BOA members briefly discussed "the turtle people" and the balloons. It was pointed out that there is an ordinance about having balloons as decorations, but they may look into ordinances about releasing balloons at the beach.
After the meeting, I went home and googled WB balloon ordinance. I have not yet come across an ordinance about balloons, but this doesn't mean there isn’t one. However, I did come across an application for people who want to have a celebration or event on the beach. It clearly states on that balloons are not to be used for decorations. I was so excited about this, perhaps more so that the BOA may look more into this issue.
 Thank you, Nancy. Keep up the good work.

Trash at BOA
I have been saving some of my trash. Because most of the trash collected was too disgusting to keep, I of course did not keep it all. However, I did keep 1/3 to half of our trash with the idea that it would be educational at some point. 
I, of course, kept toys and toy parts, plastic bottles, glass bottles, aluminum cans, cup lids and random junk. I have also kept 143 bottle caps (water, beer, soda, and suntan lotion), 103 straws (33 of which are kids juice box straws—no, I did not keep all of the cellophane straw wrappers, but you know we have all picked up tons of those), 60 pieces of fireworks remnants (I am sad to say that we left just as many on the beach because we did not have time to get them all), six balloons, four cigarette lighters, two cigar tips, 10 plastic spoons, one plastic fork, one plastic knife, one stainless steel knife, one pairing knife that was suspiciously slid inside of an empty sharpie pen case, five tubes of chapstick, 11 plastic cup lids, nine hair accessories and the list goes on and on.
I brought this marvelous display of organized trash to the Cleaner Greener Committee and it was suggested to show it to the BOA. So, I did. I have to say that I did not have a lot of time to prepare, but I went anyway. I also prepared a graph which I have attached here to show how much trash was picked up in each zone and how many days out of a possible 92 days that trash was collected per zone.  I hope you find the graph and information interesting. You may have to download the graph in order to view it.

WBSTP listed on Santa Monica, Calif., blog
Yes, you are getting to be famous now. If you have been reading the newsletter, you know Danielle and her "It Starts With Me" blog. Through talking with her, I learned that she came across the idea when she saw Sara's Daily Ocean blog. Sara lives in California and made a goal to document the trash that she collects on the beach there. Please go to her blog to learn more  Danielle has become friends with Sara and mentioned our group to her. Sara became a follower on the Lumina News website’s sea turtle news blog and mentioned us on her Santa Monica blog. It really is amazing how people can be united for a common purpose.
To view Sara's comment on WBSTP, scroll down to her entry on Sept. 3rd.

Saving Plastic Bottle Caps
Since saving the plastic bottle caps on the beach, I have two requests for them. One person is collecting them for recycled art projects and another person is collecting them to raise money for cancer awareness.
If you continue to pick up litter and would like to save your caps, please do. I will be happy to collect them and redistribute for a good cause.

More to Come
Since Nancy is still out on the beach, I will have at least one more update on her total trash report.

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