Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 82 - Dec. 13

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
estimated number of pounds collected - 8.2
total number of pounds collected - 360.07
Garen helped me collect today. We got there and found a huge flock of sea gulls that I was able to get close to to photograph. I've included some of these shots at the end of this post.

Today was the first day it didn't rain in 2, 3 days. I lost count. We need the water desperately, but one thing that I find hard about Los Angeles when it rains, is the amount of crap that washes out of the city storm drains, and into the ocean. See below.
Everywhere we looked, the tide line was littered like this. It stretched down the beach in either direction. When I saw these piles of leaves, plastic trash, and other junk, I knew that it was going to be one of those days collecting that involved a lot of deep breaths.......
Recently, Surfrider included a blurb about cigarette butts, and their toxicity in the water. I had read a related article earlier this year, and had been looking for the same information elsewhere when I lost track of which magazine in our house I'd seen the fact. Well here it is, and thanks to Surfrider's ENewsletter "SOUP" for another interesting link.

"Cigarette butts are toxic to fish and should be labeled as toxic hazardous waste, U.S. researchers say. Scientists at San Diego State University say that a single cigarette butt can be enough to contaminate a liter of water and kill half of the fish swimming in it. "

here's the link to the whole article
Okay, so after 12 minutes Garen's bag was completely full. He actually had to sit down and watch me complete the last 8 on my own....

He also noticed that he wasn't as thorough as usual. He estimates that he grabbed about 80% of what he saw when usually we both grab what is there, and then move on. Not today, we were overwhelmed by the amount of trash needing to be collected, and left plenty behind for another time.
This is as far as we got from my starting point of life guard tower 26. Usually I go from this life guard tower and walk south to the next one, and then all the way back again. Today we made it about 40 yards from the first one, and as I said above, left about 20% of the trash we saw in that distance on the beach because it was too small to collect, or there was just way too much to grab in 20 minutes.

Garen and I estimated that there is about 120 yards between life guard towers, and that just measuring the 5 foot area of the tide line on the beach, there was approximately 30 pounds of trash to be collected between each set of towers today. All of this washed in from the ocean after the rain, it looked like.

There is always this much trash in the storm drain system. A good rain just concentrates it together for us to get a look at. Disturbing.
My friend Siel said that she call tell from this blog that I really like the Sea Gulls on the beach. She is right! Enjoy the pictures here and below if you like these birds too. I think they are beautiful, but most people find then a nuisance.
And here is Siel's blog, greenLAgirl, check it out if you've never seen it.