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Microplastics Anastasia Island near the Inlet

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.