Welcome to the first cleanup of 2020 at Mussel Rock!

During the first weeks in January, I researched areas at Mussel Rock and beach to create my introductory speech. I found several homeless camps and shelters under trees. Therefore, I asked our volunteers to respect these areas and not touch them during this cleanup.

When the tide was low, I found small plastics such as bottle tops scattered in the shoreline of the beach. Unfortunately, today’s high tide precluded any beach cleanup of Mussel Rock beach. However, on a positive note, I think I saw a healthy flock of Snowy Plovers running in the tide line on Mussel Rock Beach.

I studied the invasive plant species growing at Mussel Rock and took several forays into the Open Space where the Pampas Grass is spreading into paths, pulling out many small plants by hand and digging out the larger plants. I made large piles of the pulled plants, which I guessed weighed about 600 lb.

Today’s 42 volunteers were extra eager and adventurous. For starters, one family went down the bluff below the car park where we were based, and collected over 25 muddy glass beer bottles. Another group of young boys scampered up the bluff to the abandoned transfer station and brought back many buckets of trash. A group of young girls found a soggy carpet roll, which took 5 of them to carry it from whence it came. It weighed at least 40 lb. Total trash was 154 lb. Total cigarette butts was approximately 1,500.

Myrna mentioned the plight of the Monarch butterfly to us today. The statistics are shocking: total numbers of Monarch butterflies are down to the tens of thousands. We will have to help by growing milkweed seedlings and distribute these at future cleanups so that volunteer can grow them locally.