September 25th, 2010, Santa Barbara, California, International Coastal Clean-Up Day. Photo source: © SAF — Coastal Care
By Claire Le Guern
We arrived at Butterfly Beach, around 9:30 am. An International Coastal Clean-Up representative was there, dedicated, sharp, wearing an ICC Shirt and a huge smile. All type of explanatory forms were displayed, as well as recyclable trash bags for whom would have forgotten to bring theirs, gloves, scale to weight the trash, and a large truck parked, ready to carry it all away.
We signed up a form, then he gave us this one (in photo below), which itemizes in terms of categories and quantities, the trash as we pick it up, and he explained the how to: one recording, the others picking up!
Butterfly beach was supposedly “clean” as we arrived. Many volunteers have been there first thing, trying to beat the scorching heat.
As we went along and found never ending trash, on an apparent already cleaned-up beach, a fact was just obvious: utter, undeniable, dramatic omnipresence of PLASTIC, insidiously buried in the sand, yet there.
We walked through an area of a mile approx., for less than 2 hrs. Yet, we found 92 cigarettes butts, which is the most common plastic trash of all. Then, shredded plastic bags, wrappers, straws, bottles caps, bottles, polystyrene, hard pieces of plastic, plastic toys, hair ties and so on.
On the beach, we met an elder, Helen, who comes every other day to the beach, silently, simply, discreetly picking up the trash, relentlessly, whether it is ICC day or not. The ICC representative, further talk to us about her, he has known her and her dedication, well.
Inspiration is often truly found in the most subtle and inconspicuous ways…
After a while, the bag felt quite heavy as we were done collecting, on a supposedly clean beach.Yet, consciousness is indeed rising, the World is awakening and participating on all coasts, in many countries. Unified wills, toward a better future: THAT…. felt light and elevating!