Yesterday was kind of a dreary day on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, but that doesn’t stop us here at Sanibel Sea School! This morning as the wind was howling and dark clouds threatened to soak us to the bone, we scoured the wrack line to see how many different kinds of things the ocean had washed up on the beach.
One of the great things about the ocean is that it is always changing, and everyday the tide leaves a new array of objects on the beach for us to explore. That line of debris on the beach left from the last high tide is what we call the wrack line.
Yesterday, the wrack line was heavily dominated by seagrasses, but we found something else in the wrack line that we weren’t so excited about–trash. Since the wrack line is made up of things that wash up from the ocean, that means trash is floating around in the ocean.
There are several ways that trash finds it way into the ocean, but most of it comes from land. That candy wrapper that gets dropped on the street washes into a storm drain that could empty in a nearby creek that flows into another river that eventually spills out to the ocean. We also experienced how easy it is for the wind to take things out to the ocean when a resort card slipped from someone’s hands on the beach and landed in the water. (Don’t worry, we fished it out.)
We brainstormed ways that we could reduce the amount of trash in the ocean and imagined the ocean’s future. As a symbolic gesture we created messages in a bottle to tell the ocean what we will do on its behalf and our hopes for the future. We won’t send this bottle out to sea, but we hope the ocean feels our love!
Some students share their messages in this video: