Microplastic Mania

January 24, 2016



After a long four hour drive through the night, we finally arrived at our first destination, Nags Head. Tired eyes and heavy bodies, we fell asleep quickly for we had lots planned the following day, specifically volunteering alongside the North Carolina Coastal Federation. We were fortunate enough to team up with this organization's annual shoreline cleanup in Wanchese Marine Industrial Park. Everyone with their tall boots and gloves on, picked up a bag or bucket and followed the wooden pathway that was created to guide us into the marsh. From giant waste such as tires and crab pots, to the microscopic plastics that were building up over time, this place was a mess. And to think that this was just a very small portion of the marsh...With determined minds, and positive attitudes, we immediately started hauling trash into the trailer, and recyclables into the other.


Four hours later, there was quite a substantial difference. Sadly, we couldn't collect all of the microplastics that had become swallowed by the water, but we definitely made a dent, and we're eager to see the aerial survey before and after...


Often times, people scoff at the idea of one individual making a difference, or even a small group of individuals making a difference, saying it's imposible and does nothing, and organizations such as the NC Coastal Federation are proof that is nowhere even close to being true. If there were small groups around the world taking four hours out of one day to do that we did, the earth would be significantly cleaner. All it takes is a simple appreciation of the life that sustains us. 


It was still early in the afternoon, so we decided to change out of our sulfur-smelling clothing and check out the Bodie Lighthouse. Unfortunately, we couldn't go inside, however we found a pathway that lead us to a very scenic view of the marsh and opened our eyes to the secrets OBX has to hold...Still waters with a slight breeze combing through the marsh, we sat on the dock enjoying our simple view. It seemed as if the flat land went on for miles, making a very calm home for many different birdies. 


We chased daylight as we headed over to Jockeys Ridge, an area made up of giant dunes...Treated by a vibrant sunset, some of us decided to take advantage of the slopes and tubed down the dunes with giant smiles from ear to ear. 


With a busy day comes a large appetite, so we ventured over to OBX Brewing Station, the first wind powered brewery in the United States!


Bellies full and energy at a complete exhaustion, we fell fastly asleep, awaiting the next adventure in the morning. 











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Email : sna4747@uncw.edu


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