First off, I can’t believe it is already week 9 and the semester is half way over. Time flies when you’re taking 20 units! Slash having fun.
Last weekend (Oct. 9-12) I went to SRI with Dr. Steele’s conservation biology class and a few other capstone students to perform my first set of marine debris surveys. Luckily, a few of the cons bio students came with me to do these surveys, and I couldn’t have done it without them!
Saturday October 10,2015
Saturday afternoon Dr. Steele, Cause, Dorothy, Patrick, Sean, and I went to Arlington Canyon beach. It took us about two hours to survey the whole beach, we were getting the protocol down and this beach also ended up having the most trash. There were more lobster trap fragments on this beach than any other beach we surveyed! It was beautiful though, and Arlington Canyon is a really amazing area. We ended up removing 4 huge bags of trash from the beach. I also found a plastic aquarium plant, a luggage tag thing from Korea, and several items with Asian writing on it.
Sunday October 11, 2015
This day was very long, but awesome. Cause, Dorothy, Patrick, Alex, Holly and I left for Sandy Point at 7 am. This was my first time to this part of the island and it was beautiful. The day was really clear and San Miguel looked so close.We parked out in Pocket Field and walked down to the beach, it was a pretty far walk but luckily for us the weather was perfect. This beach didn’t have as much trash as Arlington Canyon did, and we didn’t have to haul too much back up the hill. However, this beach had a random collection of debris, I found a suitcase, a pair of roller blades, several shoes, and a container filled with gasoline buried in the sand.
After Sandy Point next on our list was Cluster Point. Cluster Point is on the south side of the island, and to get there you have to go down China Camp Road.
China Camp road is not a road we could drive down, so we walked. The walk was long, and tough on the way back. It took about an hour and a half to get to our spot when we discovered the presence of some elephant seals, so we walked some more to get around them and not disturb them. I was nervous that we walked all the way down there to not even be able to survey the beach! This beach was relatively clean in some spots, I did find a fragment of a drone though which was interesting, as well as a shampoo bottle from Admiral Cruise lines in Florida. When I googled the cruise line, I found that they went out of business in the 90’s! How crazy is that.
It took us about 2 hours to hike back up to the Polaris thing, and we all ran out of water but we made it! I am very thankful for all the help and support I got from everyone on this day.
After, we got back to the research station, relaxed for a few, ate dinner with some NPS folks and the rest of the group, and after dinner Dorothy and I hit the lab til about midnight to process trash/sand samples. T’was a long day indeed!
Monday October 12, 2015
Today was our last day on the island and I still needed to get Skunk Point done, so Cause dropped off Dr. Steele, Dorothy, Patrick, Alex, and me off there. It only took us about an hour to do the actual survey, but it was a very high tide and I think that’s why there wasn’t much debris deposited on the shoreline. After that we cleaned up the research station and made our way back to the mainland.