Sunday, July 20, 2008

What Washes Ashore Part 1: The Shoe Store

This post is the first installment in a series that I've been wanting to do on the various things that wash ashore on the Cayes.
A couple of weeks ago a group of us (Nicole Hyslop, Mario Mota, Kathryn Patterson, Leslee Parr, Thomas Rainwater, and Andre Lopez, a Belize forestry official) went to a small island in northern Turneffe Atoll to look for crocodile and turtle nests. We did find crocodile nests but no turtle nests. While on this trip, we also visited nearby Turneffe Flats Resort, which caters to sportfishing enthusiasts, on the northern portion of Blackbird Caye. The contrast between the resorts beach and the neihboring beach that we saw that day was stunning. The sand at Turneffe Flats was immaculate while the quantity and diversity litter on the nesting beach was overwhelming. As I mentioned before, the litter that is on the beaches does not come from dumping on the island itself, but from the incomprehensible amount of trash that is dumped in the ocean. We were all stunned by how many shoes washed up on shore too. That was unexpected. In a matter of minutes, Nicole was able to create the following shoe-store display. Most styles were represented. Flip-flops made up a significant portion. Most of the shoes were women's, but there were no matching pairs.

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