From trash to treasure

Tell us about your interesting nature stories, animal sightings, questions and pictures on nature and your experiences.
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Mud Dog
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Real Name: Andy

Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:15 pm

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Since 1906 Fort Bragg, California residents started dumping their household garbage over the cliffs above what is now Glass Beach. It is hard to imagine this happening today, but back then people dumped all kinds of refuse straight into the ocean, including old cars and household garbage -- which of course included lots of bottles and broken glass.
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Beginning in 1949 the area around Glass Beach became a public dump, and locals referred to it as “The Dumps.” Sometimes fires were lit to reduce the size of the trash pile (up to 30 feet high). However in 1967 the city leaders closed the area. Various clean up programs were undertaken through the years to try to correct the environmental damage, but without success.

Over the next 30 years the pounding waves cleaned the beach by breaking down everything but glass and pottery. The waves washed the trash up and down, back and forth. Tons of polished, broken pieces of glass were created by the action of the surf. These smoothed, coloured glass fragments then settled along the sea shore by the millions -- and so a magnificent and colourful beach was formed. The name was changed from “The Dump” to what is currently known as “The Glass Beach”.
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The sea glass that was created is the product of a very long process. It can take anywhere from 10 to 30 years to form sea glass, the name for any piece of glass that finds its way into the ocean and tumbles around long enough. The glass is broken up into smaller shards and is tumbled around in the water, where sand and other rocks act like sandpaper to smooth out the rough, sharp edges, and giving it a pebble-like shape.
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In 1998 the private owner of the property determined that Glass Beach should belong to the public and in 2002 it became part of MacKerricher State Park, open to the public.Within a period of few years the Glass Beach became very popular, attracting a large number of tourists every year.

Way back people wanted to dump their glass products on this shore; now they try to get one of these glass gems to take home as a souvenir. Isn’t it ironic: where once it was illegal to dispose of glass on the shore, it now is a crime to remove it.
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Visiting the Glass Beach today is a unique experience. What makes it even more remarkable are the sounds produced by the glass pebbles as they are being washed to and fro by the gentle waves.
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Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:47 pm

Wow thanx Andy for sharing ,yes there's allways a diamond in the making some where :!: :laugh2:

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Donkey
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Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:22 am

:thumbup:
Tumelo Maketekete
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Froll
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Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:27 pm

Thanks for sharing. :thumbup: :thumbup:

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FIRSTGEER
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Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:24 am

Thanks for the article Andy,pity something positive couldn't come of the urban trash here in SA.. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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