Microplastic and Nurdles 2021

Handfull of Nurdles

Last week Kevin and I were collecting Red Tide samples for the GTMNERR on the beaches near Marineland. It was close to dusk, so we didn’t have much time for nurdling. In 5 minutes, we found 15 nurdles and a large amount of microplastics. There are too many small pieces to ever count, let alone try to clean up. These little microplastics will just be washed back out with next tide or be buried in the sand.

Nurdling has become our replacement activity for shelling.

San Sebastian River (Kayaking Saturday Morning)

While kayaking Saturday in the San Sebastian River, as I made my way towards King Street I noticed trash floating all over the river. At first I thought I would pick up the plastic containers and bottles, but soon realized it was a massive amount of litter that would not fit in my kayak. All the trash behind the old ABC liquor’s building  and along the banks near the highway was floating down the San Sebastian river with the high tide. I think a lot of the trash has blown out of dumpsters and dump trucks, but much of it is careless litter thrown from cars. It’s an unbelievable amount of plastic pollution for such a small area!


More images from the River


Vilano Bridge (North West foot of bridge) 2018

Microplastic at foot of Vilano Bridge

I noticed this wrack pile full of microplastics during an exercise walk in December 2017 at the foot of the Vilano bridge.  Probably deposited there during the storms last fall.  It’s a reminder to me how much plastic is in the ocean that the general public doesn’t know about.  These wrack lines full of plastic are in constant movements from the ever changing tides.  It’s slowly getting noticed by many concerned citizens and biologist.  This isn’t just irresponsible littering. This is a result of decades of massive amounts of plastic use.  The plastic at this site has been in the environment for years. It is  broken down to those small pieces by the sun’s uv rays and wave action. It circles around in the North Atlantic Gyre until deposited in a capturing area during high tides and storms.  Click here for additional photos.


Microplastics Anastasia Island near the Inlet


On Saturday, I beached on the west side of Anastasia State Park near the jetties at the south side of the inlet.  My husband and I kayaked from the Lighthouse in Salt Run. When I took a walk around the inlet to the beach, I found lots of microplastics.  These plastics have been there for years in the high dunes and old storm wrack lines.  Hurricane Matthew has caused  loss of the dunes and left behind a huge amount of microplastics.  It’s now scattered in the sand for the next high tides to wash back out to sea.

Here’s a link to what I saw in the sand behind the huge granite rocks that make up the jetties. Link to photos

Below is a link to the beauty of the inlet without seeing its dirty secret that scatters the  beach near it.  These tiny plastics are  often not noticed because of their size.

Beautiful beach photos

St. Augustine Inlet, so much Plastic!!

On October 29, 2016, I was able to walk the entire four miles of Anastasia State Park beach to the St. Augustine Inlet.  What I found is more pieces of plastics than last year!  Click link to see photos from my walk.

Scientist are continuing to  study the consequences of plastics in the ocean.  It is predicted there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by the year 2050.



Post Hurricane Matthew

It’s been devastating to those who have had their homes flooded by the tidal surge from the recent hurricane.  The storm has left much erosion on the beach, as well.  Anastasia State Park beach has been forever altered.  As usual when storms of Matthew’s force pass us, the old inlet tries to wash through to Salt Run. On my walk last week to observe the changes, I noted even more very small pieces of plastics, especially, along  the thick wrack line in the newly cut area where the inlet tried to wash through.  It’s piled thick for three miles along the remaining single dune line.

As normal for this time of year the past few years,  the first wrack line near the water, I observed nurdles and endless amounts of less than 5mm pieces of plastics (microplastics). The microplastics are in numbers too abundant to ever count or clean up.  Under the all sargassum weed left scattered on the beach remains tons of microplastics that I’ll photograph more next weekend. The spring tides next year will wash some of this back out to the sea and some will be buried as the winter winds approach.  The secret of the hidden plastic will again persist in the North Atlantic Gyre unseen.  I’ll continue to take my photos and observe the movement of the microplastics this fall and winter.

Below is a link to a few photos and a video taken along the shoreline.  There is so much microplastic in the video  that I stopped pointing out.  It goes on for miles.  What I point out first is a nurdle.  These pieces aren’t piled up like in the dune line, but provide  an idea of what washes in and out with the tides daily.

Click here to view photos.

Click for video.

Microplastics on the beach, September

View photos from my September microplastic collection.

Last week, I once again explored under piles of Sargassum brought in with the fall tides, to find countless hidden pieces of microplastics. There are also larger pieces like bottle caps carried in on these tide. In a two mile stretch of beach on top of the wrack line, I found over a hundred bottle caps in one hour.

The beach is beautiful at sunset this time of year. I sometimes wish I did not know about the hidden secrets of microplastics.

Microplastics at our beaches this fall

microplastic picture

This Monday my sister and I walked Anastasia beach to the point (inlet).  I wanted to check on all the plastic that had washed up on beaches the past few weeks and see where it had all gone. Well, what has not been washed back out to the ocean or buried in the sand’s wrack line has moved to the inlet on the back side of the Anastasia State Park.

I noticed the previous plastic piles from the summer have moved as well or been buried.  Now the new plastic has its home.  The first pictures are of microplastics just sitting on the sand at the tide line as we walked down.  I’m fixated on the colors of the microplastic instead of the beautiful shells.  As we approached the point, we stopped and circled out a very small area, about a 24″x12″, and picked out all the plastic in it. You can see there are at least 25 pieces.  I added a few scenery photos in the collection, so that you can see how amazingly beautiful it is at the inlet.  But, sadly there is a hidden catastrophic problem going on. Tons and tons of microplastics are compiling there.

This is what is in our oceans right here in Northeast Florida. It’s not only in the gyres in the Pacific Ocean, but right here on our coast and water ways.

Link to photos.