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Home > Resources & Publications > Newsletters & Magazines > Chenier Ecology > 2014 > 09-14

Resources & Publications:  Chenier Ecology

October 2014

Beachsweep 2014

The Rutherford Beach cleanup was held in conjunction with the Cameron Parish beachsweep, both of which are part of the International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by Ocean Conservancy. The majority of accessible beaches in Cameron Parish are located west of the Calcasieu Ship Channel. A large number of volunteers gather at these beaches annually and is heavily sponsored by local industries.

On Sept. 20, 40 volunteers participated in the Rutherford beach cleanup. Approximately four miles of beach was cleaned of debris by teams of three volunteers. Each team had one member filling out a tally sheet, keeping track of the type of debris picked up. A total of 106 bags of trash were collected for a total weight of approximately 3,500 pounds, which equates to nearly 1,000 pounds per mile.

After the cleanup, all volunteers were treated to hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks provided by Ronnie’s Pit Stop. During lunch, there was a discussion about where this marine debris comes from. Plastic is the most common material found on the beaches. The Mississippi River watershed, which drains 41 percent of the North American Continent dumps into the Gulf in eastern Louisiana; the Atchafalaya, Vermillion Teche and Mermentau rivers also dump in east of Cameron. These rivers carry trash and debris. Plastic is very buoyant and floats from drainage ditches, bayous, canals to rivers and eventually into the Gulf. The prevailing current along the Louisiana coast is from east to west, carrying the debris along the Louisiana coast where it is deposited by wave and wind action.
Door prizes for gift cards to local stores, pizza, and iTunes were drawn and handed out. A special award was given to the most unusual item found, which was a neck brace. All volunteers received a 2014 Beachsweep beach towel. Special thanks to Nat Griffith for maintaining corporate sponsorships, distribution of supplies and making arrangements for catering.

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