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Trash on the Beach

South Carolina
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171 posts
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Trash on the Beach

Yes, Barbi sure does need a break!

Regarding the new topic, if any of you tourists happen to stumble across cigarette lighters on the beach, I would love to have them for a project I'm working on. If you would be so kind as to mail them to me, I will happily reimburse you for your postage and send you a little painting to say 'thank you'. Make sure they don't have any lighter fluid left in them and it's OK if the ends are missing. Send me a message and I'll write you back with details. Thank you very much!

Also, regarding the trash, if it's any consolation at all, I see lots less trash beginning spring when the sand starts coming back. It tends to wash away in winter months, exposing lots of plastic items. When the sand is back, the trash is still there...but buried!

What a pity that ships and boats just seem to dump everything overboard. Does anyone know of anything that can be done about that?

Peace River, Canada
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193 posts
30 reviews
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1. Re: Trash on the Beach

The Bahamas is at the southeastern edge of the North Atlantic Gyre, and the easternmost islands are subject to periodic trash infestations when eddies and stray currents momentarily break up the massive plastic trash drifts found in the middle of the Sargasso Sea and wash them ashore. This is new stuff you're seeing -- not just trash being moved around by the wind -- and I've spent many days on windward beaches on Long Island watching the lightbulbs, tar, plastic babydolls, and shoes wash ashore.

Yes, something can be done: it's been estimated that 80% of all trash in the ocean has a source on land (20% has been dumped from ships). In other words, the next time you see some trash blowing around your street or community, pick it up, as there's a chance that it will just end up in the ocean.

omaha
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18 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Trash on the Beach

laura - left a few in the kitchen drawer for you- hope you will post photos of your project! bon

Grosse Pointe
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65 posts
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3. Re: Trash on the Beach

Is it "trash" or is it "treasure"? I guess it's all in how you look at it....Atlantic exposed beaches are certainly prone to "catching" quite a bit of trash. When I first started going to the island in the early 80's it was still legal for the cruise ships to dump trash into the ocean as long as they were several miles offshore in international waters and if one thinks that the trash is bad now, it is almost non-existent to what it was then. There are extremely stiff fines and penalties now for cruise ships to dump and it is illegal. They are all equipped for trash compacting on board and their trash is inspected and weighed upon their return to port and it better be within certain guidelines based on the length of their itinerary and passenger load.

There are hundreds of power and sailing vessels that make the north/south trip from the east coast of the US and Canada to the Caribbean every year. They are the worst offenders of dumping trash overboard as the storage capacity on these privately owned boats is limited and they can be at sea for days if not weeks at a time.

I love talking with the islanders and listening to their experiences with the oceans, the tides, and the seasons. You can learn a lot from them if you simply engage them in conversation. My favorite is how they describe two distinct beach seasons....The season of take-away and the season of give-back. This not only describes the coming and going of the sand on some of the beaches but also the depositing of ocean treasures or trash.

We don't like the look of it on the beaches but we love beachcombing through the trash. We've found many useful things that we've given a second life to. My husband loves to dig up the large diameter rope that comes from many tugs and barges. We've found glass fishing floats (rare) and lots of metal/plastic fish net floats.

I admire people for wanting to organize beach clean ups but if everyone, homeowners and visitors alike would take just one trashbag of refuse off the beach they visit that day, it really does make a difference. There is almost always room for at least one bag of trash in your vehicle and most likely you will pass one of the legal dumps on the island during your drive, whip in and deposit your contribution....it is an uplifting experience to know you've contributed if even in a small way.

Canada
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634 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Trash on the Beach

Finiterre - what a great post! I'm sure that collecting one bag of trash is not too big of a step for folks who claim to love "lutra to take.

Good on ya!

Minneapolis...
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82 posts
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5. Re: Trash on the Beach

I got stranded on Double Bay for a little over an hour while we were there, and considered what to do should I be stuck there overnight. (Our keys and everything but our clothes and camera were in the car).At first I just took pictures, but as evening lengthened into twilight, I started to to think what I could find that would be useful. the first thing I picked up was a big piece of bamboo, very weathered and ready to split into thin pieces, the second was a liter bottle of water with the lid intact. Though I was really only about a quarter of a mile from the main road, it was interesting to think like a castaway.

Plastic water bottles are one the of scourges of our modern civilizations being incredibly durable. They are the most common thing I found on the beach. It was a little fun to test out my survival awareness, but boy was I glad when my husband arrived with someone who was staying at a house down the beach.

New England
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12 posts
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6. Re: Trash on the Beach

Just back from the island. I made it a point to pick up 1 bag of trash everyday from whatever beach we were on. We all go to enjoy the island, the least we can do is pick up some of the (mostly) plastic that washes ashore. Eight days of paradise in exchange for 8 bags of trash. What a deal!

Canada
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634 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: Trash on the Beach

What a nice sentiment. I'll be there in three weeks and I'll try to continue your great work. It really is a beautiful island.

Mobile, Alabama
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3,268 posts
40 reviews
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8. Re: Trash on the Beach

Windswept- if I remember correctly, you are a wonderful artist and have created some beautiful pieces such as mosaics with what we consider "beachtrash"- plastic and such. I thought of you when I was there last spring and happened upon a very interesting and creative "trash tree" on the beach near Poponi- people had picked up flip flops, bottles, plastic rings, fish net scraps, fishing weights and lures, and other things that had washed up and decorated a tree (dead one on the edge of the beach) with those items and had even written "Merry Christmas" with sea grass on the sand in front of it. I agree wholeheartedly with the approach of everyone helping and it came very naturally to us since we are used to our own local "coastal cleanup" campaign on the gulf coast every September- it is no problem and just feels good to pick up the things one can and throw them away. It almost seems like paying for the privilege of experiencing a place so beautiful. Hope all is well with you and yours!

9. Re: Trash on the Beach

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