Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Trash Bash 2008 Flickr set here!

Sebago's Trash Bash was originally slated for the weekend of Tropical Storm Hannah & quite wisely moved to last Sunday, the 21st of September. We had a beautiful day for it, we were joined by the Boy Scouts (the same troupe that had come to Sebago before in preparation for a major canoe camping trip & had a very exciting windy day for their training) & picked up all sorts of things.

I think my strangest find of the day was a slightly melted wax figurine carefully bound in thread. Good thing I'm not superstitious (knock wood). I also found a large handbag and 2 shoes. Who needs Macy's? OK, so the shoes didn't match, whatevahs...

Mary was our organizer, and she sent the following stats & comments for the day:

"HEre are some stats (I just completed the report). John counted 57 bags of trash, and the first prize goes to : TADA -- plastic bags (936); Plastic beverage bottles a distant second with 513, but another 150 total for cans and glass.
I don't think I had the description of your goddess in my data, so I didn't report that (most likely from one of the ceremonies that leaves fruit and flowers all over the beaches). The skull got my vote (though I guess technically it's not trash, but who cares). It looked pretty great on the box of the kayak coming back, and I'm sure someone's parents were truly delighted to have allowed their son to collect garbage under our watchful eyes."

There was also a Little Tykes slide, a child's motorized toy jeep, and a lot of coconuts (but we didn't pick those up).

I do think the oddest find of the day went to Mary's friend David, who had this to say:

"I know that we expect to see everything during these events, but out team found a plastic commode from a boat (okay, call it a head). The whole team was flush with excitement!"

There was a sink involved in that head. That's right, we didn't find everything but the kitchen sink. We found everything.

The interesting part of this, to me (having never participated in an American Littoral Society Beach Cleanup Day), was that the focus wasn't so much on actually cleaning up Canarsie Pol as it was on gathering statistics. We had a big big crowd & if we'd just focused on picking up trash, we could've gathered two hundred bags, I bet. I also bet that you could come back in a week & not know that the place had been picked up. Think Sisyphus. Think Augean stables. However, as it turns out, these events are really just as much about gathering statistics - the Littoral Society sends the cleaning squads out with survey forms & we actually reported the items we picked up. There are events going on all over during the month of September, and the data they collect is all rolled up together. In the end, the Littoral Society ends up with some good statistics to support their environmental efforts (btw I think various other groups are running more beach cleanups over the next 2 weeks, check out the nationwide Littoral Society for your local branch if you're interested - NY folks, click on the link at the start of this paragraph & look for the crab)!

Anyways - it made for a fun day. Thanks to "Prof M" for organizing, Joan for cooking & the Boy Scouts for helping out.

Cross-posted at the Sebago Canoe Club Blog

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