Wednesday, January 24, 2018

On The Beach

For Christmas, I was given two weeks in Melbourne Shores, Florida. I was so excited to be going to the beach and escaping the gray cold mid-January weather! And as it turned out, we missed some extreme snow and cold back home. 

Such wonderful sights to see on the beach - 
After the rain...

An empty winter beach meant Toby had some leash-free play.

Portuguese man-o-wars were washing up on the tide in all their vivid color.

Willets and sanderlings are so entertaining.

Two funny great blue herons hung out on the beach in the mornings. They weren't fishing like the ospreys and pelicans. Sometimes they just waded out and stared at the horizon.

And some not-wonderful sights too - marine plastic that washed up on every high tide.

The blue of the balloon could entice a sea turtle to eat it, thinking it's a man-o-war.

We collected a bag of plastic on almost every beach walk. 

The most common debris was bottle caps, tableware, and small shards of plastic. The worst for sea creatures is the balloons (we found several), fishing line, and straws. The weirdest? Toothbrushes, a waterlogged Go-Pro camera,  and cigar tips. 
We kept wondering "what if everybody who visits the beach collected a bag of trash?" but someone was way ahead of us with these ingenious bag dispensers!
We saw a LOT of beachcombers collecting seashells but only one other collecting plastic debris on the beach. What if that were reversed?!?

Melbourne Shores is on a barrier island with the Indian River on the other side. 

Watching the sun set over the river was a treat.

*if you are interested in the marine debris problem, here are two infographics you might like, and a couple of links about how/why plastic harms sea animals.



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12 comments:

  1. Such a fun, fun trip you had! It sure would be wonderful if some humans weren't so trashy!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! We all have a role to play Brian in helping with the plastics crisis. Even just spreading the word is helpful. Shoot, over the holidays I was talking with my own children about plastic straws and discovered they had no idea how harmful they are or that there was a campaign against using them indiscriminately. (We were out for brunch and near the end my son wonderingly held up the fistful of straws that had been brought to the table). Anyway, thank you for your comment!

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  2. What a wonderful trip you had!!!! Such funs!
    That plastic stuffs is a disaster in the making
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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    1. Yes we had a blast - it was over too soon! I agree, and I think the plastic industry needs to step up. They know how to make it biodegradable. But we consumers are to blame too when we choose single-use plastics so wastefully. Once we didn't know better, but now we do.

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  3. What a great Christmas present. You are right about the trash. It is so hard to get people to clean up after themselves let alone carry out more than they bring in.

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    1. Education is key. I had a chance to speak with a woman who was curious about what I was doing. I forget sometimes that these issues so close to my heart are completely new for some folks. I hope I inspired her to think a little about marine plastic and notice it more now.

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  4. Replies
    1. It really was, and even prettier after the trash was gone :)

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  5. Such a beautiful beach and wonderful information!!!!!!

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  6. this just breaks my heart. What in the world is WRONG with people? Why do they use a beach as their personal trash can? Thank you for this post......I am going to pin some of these!

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    1. Caren, most of this trash washed up on each tide. When scientists visit remote islands far from human activity they find the beaches covered with plastic. I have come to believe we are all complicit when we make choices that support the use of plastic. I agree, totally heartbreaking and littering anywhere is so destructive. Google the "stop sucking" campaign, or "plastic on remote islands". And thank you so much for pinning!!!

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