A Tale of Two Beaches - Part 2•
Posted on November 16 2023
“If world problems feel too big to tackle, think small. Step by step. Small wins build confidence, lead the way to change”– Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Greetings Sea Fans! Welcome to the long awaited (and slightly later than promised) part two of our first ever two-part blog, A Tale of Two Beaches! For our second clean up, I visited Biloxi Beach by the famous Biloxi Lighthouse. Biloxi Beach area is home to flashy lights and casinos along with a host of restaurants a family attractions. There are nice wide sidewalks the entire length of the beach that continues into the surrounding cities. Many families vacation to Biloxi Beach in the summers and enjoy the waterfront restaurants, activities, and fun in the sun. In addition to the action, the Biloxi Lighthouse is a historical landmark. Erected in 1848, the cast-iron lighthouse is an iconic symbol of the resiliency of the coast and its community. The Biloxi Lighthouse has survived Hurricanes Camille and Katrina! The area around the lighthouse is always bustling with people who are out enjoying the beach. There is a large public parking lot south of the lighthouse, and the beach on the other side of the parking lot. This area is the exact opposite of East Beach, where part one of this adventure took place.
Now that the scene is set, here is what you came for, what happened during this clean up?? The day was beautiful, sunny, and the perfect temperature. As I got out of my car, the first thing I noticed were all the cigarette butts surrounding my car. I started by cleaning that area, then followed the trail of trash. We all know that where there are more people, there will be more litter, but I was not ready for the massive amount of cigarette butts that I found in such a small area. This area surpasses every other area I have visited. There were several metal barricades, and around the base of each one was a large pile of trapped sand filled with cigarette butts. In only an hour and a half, I collected enough cigarette butts to fill a gallon ziplock bag only in this one parking lot. I also collected the typical trash items like cans and bottles from picnics past and the chip or candy wrapper that got caught in the wind, but I think this area is going to need continual attention to keep the cigarette butts from making their way into the waters that are less than 100 yards away. I will definitely be returning to this site.
There is some good news for this area to be shared. I know that the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup visits this area from time to time during their monthly cleanup events. In addition, there were a few people who saw my small effort and cleaned up the area immediately around them. I think fighting the litter problem here will be like many things, persistence will be key. I will continue to be the good little raindrop trying to start my good flood. In time, little drops will form big rain showers and the litter problem will never go away but will get less and less.
At the end of my clean with my bucket completely full, I ended up with 3.5 lbs of trash in an hour and a half. The cigarette butts are with the rest of the collection to be sent away in December for recycling. If you are still with me, thank you for reading! We are nearing the end of our “Year of Trash” journey soon, and I hope that each month you found something that made you chuckle a little and also think a little about the environment around you and how you can help make it a better and cleaner space to inhabit!
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