Monday, September 17, 2007

Coos Bay beach clean-up!

This is a blog entry I wrote for our Cast B blog, but I thought it would interest you all too...

On Friday, September 14th, thirty of our cast had a community impact AND regional learning trip to Sunset Beach State Park, here on the gorgeous Oregon coast. We met Stephanie, a knowledgeable park ranger who took us down to the cove beach of Cape Arago, where she taught us about some of the plants and wildlife that we encountered as we picked up trash along the shoreline. We want to share with you our Top Ten things we learned!

10. The Oregon coastline is made up of sand, rocks, and sandstone. The sandstone made Tyrell & Gina feel strong, because they could crumble it with their bare hands.

  1. Seals (which we saw swimming offshore and chilling on the rocks at Simpson reef) can hold their breath underwater for 10-15 minutes.
  1. There are 16 types of sharks that live off the Oregon coast. Suzanne was relieved we didn’t meet any.
  1. We did see gray whales. They were close into shore and visible to us because they were feeding on the sediment that is stirred up around the reef.

6. The Oregon coast has four tides each day: high tide, low tide, a lower high tide, and a higher low tide.

5. A wrack line is debris, trash, and seaweed that washes up on the beach, and is left in a line when the tide recedes. We were picking up trash in the visible wrack lines at the edge of the water, and 75 feet from shore among the rocks & boulders.

4. A wave that is only four inches deep can lift a log that weighs five tons (or the majority of our show equipment!)

3. Ocean Fact: 10,000 semi-trailer-sized containers fall off container ships each year. Many of these containers open, and the spilled contents travels in the ocean currents and spreads out around the globe. Four million Legos that were dumped in the Atlantic Ocean in 1997 are making their way north through the Arctic Circle. They are predicted to arrive off the coast of Alaska by 2012 and on the Oregon coast by 2020.

2. A container of Nike shoes were dumped, and scientists found that the left shoes had a different migration pattern in the ocean current than the right shoes. The tennis shoes were still wearable even after traveling in the water for three years. Vanessa Graves was hoping to find some when she goes back to New Jersey.

1. We were warned to “Never turn your back on the ocean.” Oregon coast has “sneaker waves” that are very dangerous. They are waves that are much larger than the average waves washing into shore. Luckily, none of us were washed out to sea.

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