The largest group of volunteers ever turned out to help Kent Island Beach Cleanups during the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 19, collecting 3,650 pounds of trash. In all, 136 people (81 adults and 55 youth) helped pick up 13,271 pieces trash and improve the local watershed.
Work sites included Terrapin Beach, Kent Narrows Fishing Pier and Public Landing (including parking lot and Bay grass areas), Old Love Point Park, Romancoke Fishing Pier, Hemingway’s Restaurant Beach, Mowbray Park, Bennett Point Landing and Centreville Landing/Wharf. Crews cleaned from 8 to 11 a.m. at most sites, with Kent Narrows and Terrapin running until noon.
Volunteers spanned a broad spectrum: students from Kent Island High School and Archbishop Spaulding High School (in Severn), the seventh-grade teachers from Stevensville Middle School and students of various ages, Boy Scout Troop 495, the staff of Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, the Chesapeake College Men’s Basketball team and coaching staff, various KI Girl Scout Troops, family groups and individuals.
Small pieces of plastic and foam as well as cigarette butts are always present. They often get overlooked because of their size, but are the most damaging to our ecosystem,” Weed said. Cigarette butts represented 28 percent of KIBCU’s basic trash total, with 2,466 butts picked up.We also find a lot of fishing line, hooks and beer bottles and cans.
Some of the more peculiar finds included: multiple gun shells at Bennett Point Landing and Hemingway’s beach; a car engine, headlamp and hubcap at Kent Narrows; clothes, a chair, pills and construction tools at Old Love Point Park; Legos, batteries and a grill cover at Romancoke Pier; a cooler, rubber lizard, Frisbee, and a variety of clothes — socks, shoes and underwear — at Terrapin Nature Park. There were dead fish at both Terrapin Park and at Kent Narrows and lots and lots of fishing line at multiple sites.
TOP 10 ITEMS:
Cigarette Butts: 2,466
Bottle Caps (Plastic): 882
Food Wrappers (candy, chips, etc.): 802
Beverage Bottles (Plastic): 740
Fishing Line (1 yard/meter = 1 piece): 552
Beverage Cans: 494
Bottle Caps (Metal): 269
Beverage Bottles (Glass): 265
Straws, Stirrers: 242
Cigar Tips: 215
Top Ten Total: 6,927
Tiny Trash: (most damaging to our ecosystem)
Plastic Pieces: 2,450
Foam Pieces: 1,869
Glass Pieces: 318
Tiny Trash: 4,637