Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Foam crisis on our beach!

I received an urgent communication from Shelly of the Grassroots Garbage Gang!  She wondered if I had been on the beach, just north of Long Beach.  Brett and I were just arriving back in town and immediately detoured to the sandy beach.  (we can drive on our beaches)

A call for HELP! is going out to our community, visitors and summer residents.  Your help is needed!  Our beaches are filled with foam.  Not the foamy seawater that rolls onshore - but foam as in styrofoam.

A little information:  Styrofoam is a trademark of the Dow Chemical Corporation and you can read some interesting info on the wiki HERE. 

Foam (not necessarily styrofoam) is used in marine industry - keeps boats, docks and other items afloat.  Foam is used in building - insulation and even under roads to keep soil from freezing or displacing.

Foam has started started arriving on our beaches.  An email from Grassroots Garbage Gang volunteer extraordinaire - Ellen, describes the situation.
Hi.  I'm Ellen, a resident of Ocean Park, WA on the Long Beach Peninsula.  Having spent many hours on our beach, I found the view Sunday afternoon very disturbing.  Massive foam pieces in multiple numbers in our high tide line.  I collected and analyzed this foam over a 1 mile section of beach - from Joe Johns Rd (approx 290th) to 315th.  The attached Word doc describes the analysis in more detail and the attached Excel spreadsheet tallies the numbers.  Others here are witnessing the same phenomena in the high tides in OR and WA. 

I am convinced that we are now experiencing tsunami debris.  This foam is not glitzy or glamorous; it likely won't politically motivate our civil leaders to finance cleanup.  Foam clogging the high tide line and breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces down our coast has many consequences.  I am fearful. 

Sincerely, Ellen 
 (note- yes she did a complete analysis.  If you would like me to forward the excel and word docs - send me an email - nansenmalin at gmail dot com)

Grab a large trash bag - and head to the beach!  It is vital that we collect this 'foam' before it breaks into small bits.  The shore birds see living organisms inside the foam pellets.  The birds are digesting this foam!!

Our local newspaper, The Chinook Observer, has an article about the foam too.
note- Ellen and Shelly provided the photos below

1 comment:

Sally Lee by the Sea, LLC said...

We've noticed the foam up around Oysterville/Ocean Park too -- Very disturbing. Thanks for sharing this information. I've shared it with my Twitter/FB followers too.