Archive for the ‘Good Stuff’ Category

litter from Lake FayettevilleDifferent year, same story. On the bright side, the number of participants for the Lake Fayetteville Cleanup is increasing. There were several groups of people with trash bags in hand and ready to venture down the rocky ledges and into the muck at the edge of the lake.

As usual, I found many plastic items where people sit and fish. Why they don’t bother to pick up their trash is beyond me. Honestly, would they want to eat a fish that had eaten tiny bits of plastic, cigarettes, and other debris?

group of young people below bridgeAmong the record-breaking 250 volunteers, there were groups of young people who descended the steep muddy slopes to grab litter below the bridge. I believe this was the first cleanup that I didn’t slide down there myself, so I was happy to see that this area was not neglected.

There has been no word yet on the amount of trash collected, but with this many volunteers and the amount of litter, we might have broken the record.


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litter on Lake FayettevilleThis photo shows why we need our fall and spring cleanups on Lake Fayetteville and other watersheds. This was one of the many areas where litter washes up on the shore.

This mix of plastics was retrieved during the Fall 2014 Lake Fayetteville Cleanup. If you’re interested in volunteering to keep the lake clean and safe for all species, check the Lake Fayetteville Watershed Partnership website for volunteer opportunities.  The work isn’t glamorous, but it sure is important and you’ll make the ducks and herons and turtles smile.

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Election Day 2012 delivered a win for the environment. Wrightsville Beach overwhelmingly voted for a smoking ban on the beach. If you’re looking for smoke-free beach trip, consider this location.

Read more about the WB smoking ban.

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Denyse and Gail at 2012 Kure Beach Sweep

Denyse and Gail

For the second year, the Island Women led the Kure Pier Beach Sweep. Among the items found were a tiki torch and a plastic cow, moooo!

Of course, Gail wore her infamous recycling hat.

Thanks to all of the volunteers for taking time out to make the beach safer and cleaner.

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Montage from NHC Big Sweep at Kure PierOn September 24, the New Hanover County Big Sweep came to Pleasure Island.  Despite the gray, drizzly day, both Carolina and Kure Beaches were filled with people picking up litter on the sand and roadways.

The Island Women sponsored the Kure Beach section, with approximately 64 people hitting the sands. Ashley High School was well represented, with 20 participants and 12 Island Women retrieved trash, in addition to staffing the sign-in table.

We are still waiting on the final item counts from the county, but there were a few strange items worth noting: a wish in a bottle (cute but still litter); a jock strap; a dead opossum tangled in fishing line (obviously not just a danger to marine life); and a homemade water bong. Of course, there were thousands of cigarette butts.

The highlight of this event was the massive improvement under Kure Pier. Some Island Women and Ashley High students teamed up to do a thorough sweep in a space that tends to be forgotten until the trash washes out to sea.

It was great to see so many people caring about the environment and we’re hoping for an even better turnout for next year’s Big Sweep. Remember, litter is 100% preventable.

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174 butts and iPhone on CB
174 butts and iPhone on CB

Apple hasn’t officially set up shop at Carolina Beach, but you wouldn’t know it by what I found this morning.

I stumbled across an iPod in a parking lot. The top glass was crushed, but the touchscreen was fine. While I wasn’t able to figure out whose it was, I did come across the obligatory self-snapped photo of a young male flexing his muscles in the bathroom mirror.

I turned this gem in to a proxy cop, the information booth at the town hall since the cop shop was closed. I wish the young man luck in his strength training.

While I was enroute to my beach cleanup, I spotted the most wonderful thing; an army of young trash retrievers. They had filled an entire pickup truck with street and beach trash. It made my day. They were all aflitter with bags and gloves and picking up sticks.

Next stop, knowing that these kind people likely skipped over cigarette butts, as many do, I headed for the sand. Indeed, there was barely a cup or paper to be found, but I did scrape up 174 cigarette butts rather quickly. I had a lovely conversation with a young family about the importance of keeping the beach clean. I watched a small child launch a kite so perfectly that he’ll probably go pro… and then I saw it. I spotted yet another Apple that had fallen from the tree!

I carefully dug my hand into the sand to retrieve the shiny black iPhone that looked a heck of a lot like mine, mostly because they’re all black and they’re all shiny. I pushed the home button and found it had a lock code and a screen photo of a cute little dog. Well, the lock was not to be broken so I pondered.

After pondering for a good long while, I held down the home button for several seconds. It took me to Voice Control, sounds powerful. Not having the best common sense at times, it took me a while to figure out that it wanted me to speak to it, and so I did. I spoke as if it would answer me.

Feeling like I had just solved some great secret of the world, I cleared my throat and said, “CONTACTS”.  Instead of arriving at the contact list, the phone started calling “Aunt Kaye”. Petrified, I hung up, thinking “what do I say?” , “tell your niece to meet me at the boardwalk or she’ll never see her phone again”? Still, she remained my backup plan.

Next, I tried to reach the address book. I said “ADDRESSES”, which led me directly to a very loud song by Michael Jackson. I yelled, “STOP”, but he kept singing. Finally, I turned the phone off and then on. I repeated this request, with the same result.  Within a minute of rebooting the second time, the owner of the phone called. She said she thought she’d never see it again. I thought I’d never get rid of it.

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SandSweepers first pickup, Kure Pier, 3-26-2011, 998 butts
SandSweepers 1rst event
 Kure Pier, 3-26-2011, 998 butts

The first official litter pickup for the Island Women SandSweepers sub-committee resulted in a total of 998 cigarette butts, many pieces of plastic, firework debris, and a variety of unmentionables.

The underbelly of Kure Pier is filled with large pieces of trash and hundreds of cigarette butts, thrown down through the slats above; where do people think these land? It would take a large crew the entire day to clean this area, but this was a start.

The grand total collected on our Kure Beach pickup included items retrieved by the Island Women and the Danielle Richardet family, who drove down for a special pickup.

Stay tuned for more organized events. The next SandSweepers pickup will likely be at the North end on Pleasure Island. As always, remember, the beach is not an ashtray.

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