environment

Are you one of those tidewrackers?

Look me in the eye! Are YOU looking at ME?

Oyster C looking at me32 DSC_1088

I think you might be one of those tidewrackers. Yes, you there, all ready to party.

Dear Leebythesea.me readers, I’ve only been blogging for about four months but I see there are readers of my blog in about 15 countries outside of the U.S, although only a trace amount in those far off places. And maybe this blog post doesn’t concern local customs there but, it can’t hurt:

Let’s talk balloons.
Balloons make great decorations for parties of course like this bouquet of colorful beacons I spotted on one of our Long Beach, NY streets; it signaled a cheery welcome to guests:

balloonsIMG_6170 copy

But sometimes kids let balloons like these fly into the sky with fantasy-filled thoughts of high flying trips to Europe and beyond. But, as most of you know, it’s best to not allow the kids to release them into the sky. They become beach litter or tidewrack. Tidewrack can be seaweed etc. but it also includes nasty, human-sourced litter.

Balloons with their tethers still attached too often end up wrapped around the legs of birds, turtles or other wildlife. I see this sky-litter become beach-litter on our shore way too often. Six-pack-plastic, twine and fishing monofilament are all notorious for fouling the feet of sea fowl. So when I come upon such drift-litter I pick it up and dunk it in a refuse container. Six-pack-plastic sometimes get caught around the necks of birds and other creatures and strangles them, so it’s best to slice through the can rings to make them safer before you deposit them in refuse.

We can do all that we can to stop oil or sewage or radioactive matter from spilling into the ocean, but we can do our own personal bit too. It’s about making a statement. 

Can you imagine this Oyster Catcher and her chick tangled in our thoughtless snares? 36 DSC_1297

Oyster C chick feeds37 DSC_1331

FYI: Oyster Catchers often return to their nesting areas annually. This family nests in the general area of Riverside Blvd. They are monogamous birds and also practice “egg dumping” at times, laying their eggs in the nests of gulls to be hatched and raised by those unwitting adoptees. For more on Oystercatchers see my posts on their births:

https://leebythesea.me/2014/05/24/size-matters/

https://leebythesea.me/2014/06/02/size-still-matters-2/

Other seashore wash-up is the occasional bulkhead plank or boat part or even more curious blends of flotsam and jetsam. If I may, the former relates to parts of a ship or it’s cargo, the latter being items jettisoned from ships to the sea. Some dumped stuff from boats or other sources receives the work of the ocean upon it. Some of it you have observed by now, I consider this work, oceanartography. It’s the ocean’s often successful work to turn our litter into works of art:

Bottle artIMGP0380

Sometimes it’s a very curious item that finds itself on our sands:
We have the fine Long Beach Police and Fire Departments to keep our City by the Sea residents and visitors safe, winter and summer.

Police boardwalk vehIMG_6153 copy copy

Fire truck boardwalkIMG_6167 copy

They do a fantastic job. But sometimes they need a little help from their friends.

A Nor’Easter tore ashore in 2009 breaking an ocean buoy from its mooring and onto the sands of our shore. It was a wash-up that stayed in place as a local curiosity until it could be safely removed that Sept. Most residents and visitors had no idea of the size of ocean buoys until they saw one on dry land and very up-close.

BuoyDSC_0014

Buoy groupDSC_0054

This sea marker was a huge item to deal with and its removal presented a challenge for our local services. So the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came to assist. The Corps removed it from the beach and took it to a buoy tender securing yet another buoy off Atlantic Beach.

I made a photo-video of the retrieval. Not an easy thing to do due to the perils that sand plays on sensitive cameras. But you can see how it went here. It was kind of a mash up of the three services, Police, Fire and Army:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giuO6m0pYGY

Be well,

Lee

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