Monday, 27 July 2015

Glass Beach - Recycled By The Ocean.

My sister Jan sent me this article ….. and now I need to add another place in the world I “NEED” to go …….
11In the early 1900s, Fort Bragg, California, residents threw 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 kindsof refuse straight into the ocean, including old cars, and their household garbage,which of course included lots of glass.
8Beginning 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 damage, but without success.
9Over the next 30 years the pounding waves cleaned the beach,  by breaking down everything but glass and pottery. The pounding waves washed the trash up and down, back and forth. Tons of polished, broken glass were created by the pounding surf. These smoothened, coloured glass particles then settled along the sea shore in millions, and so a magnificent beach was formed. The name was changed from, The Dump to what we currently know as, The Glass Beach.
imagesThe sea glass that was created is the product of a very long and interesting process. It can take anywhere from 10 to 30 years to make sea glass, the name for any piece of glass that finds its way to the ocean and tumbles around in the water long enough to frost and smooth its surface.
1Once it makes its way into the ocean, the glass is broken up into shards and is tumbled around in the water, where sand and other rocks act like sandpaper to smooth out its rough edges. Sometimes as the sea glass is passed through fire, it becomes fire glass, the rarest of sea glass with certain inclusions, just like precious gems.
2In 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 a few years the Glass Beach won fame, attracting a large number of tourists every year.
Way back in time, people wanted to dump their glass products on this shore;
Now they would try to get one of these pieces to take home as a souvenir. It is ironic but true that where once it was illegal to dispose the glass on the shore,It now is a crime to remove it. 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 away by the gentle waves.
7For years, the water beat against the different kinds of trash being dumped. Glass, household appliances and even motor parts were discarded on the beach. The waves and weather conditions wore down the overwhelming amount of garbage in the water, creating millions of beautiful smooth rocks.
images (1)
It was a disgusting dump due to our carelessness, but nature corrected what humans ruined. The beach’s moniker was soon changed from The Dump to The Glass Beach, a more attractive name for the now-beautiful beach. The Glass Beach and the surrounded twenty acres were purchased by the California State Park system and were incorporated into MacKerricher State Park. The miraculous beach was finally under the protection of the state.
It’s hard to believe the short-sighted mistakes we were making that could have potentially ruined this beautiful spot. But thanks to natural processes, the ocean transformed the trash into the sea glass. Each colour gem on the beach has its own story. The ruby red glass stones are typically from old car tail-lights. Then, the sapphire rocks are the remnants of broken apothecary bottles.
The beach at Fort Bragg isn’t the only glass beach in the world, as strange and beautiful as it is. There are other places in the world where Mother Nature put a stop to our foolishness.


Silvia said...

WOW!!! I live in the USA and I never knew this place existed! I also need to put this on my list of places to visit. Here is another place you might want to put on your list:
You might enjoy this lady's blog about shelling on Sanibel:
This is one of my favorite places in the world!! Seashells everywhere you look, beautiful, calm beaches. I hope to be able to take my mom next year (she will be 85!!).
Thanks for sharing!
(from Kansas)

Roni said...

Wow! Amazing story, it looks gorgeous Helen, fingers crossed you get to see it in real life!

Big hugs
Roni :D xox

Mrs B said...

Hi Helen. Wow, what a fabulous sight and sound this glass beach must be. I haven't seen or heard of it before, thank you for sharing it. Thank goodness it has been saved for further generations to enjoy. Take care.

Pamela said...

What a wonderful story I've never heard of this place. The original 'Dump' must have been disgusting but nature has transformed it into a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl W said...

Thanks for posting this, Helen! I've just added this location to my bucket list, as well! Have a great week.

marc said...

Its a lovely place to see at sunset it glows like fire embers people have removed tons of the glass over the years i still like walking a long stone beaches in england and finding that odd bit of sea glass you cant take pebbles of a lot of beaches in england this became a real problem when the program ground force was at its height big love marc

jc2711 said...

This is amazing, thank you for sharing it. I too would love to see it.

Jackie :)

Susan said...

Fascinating and stunning! It would be really hard NOT to pick one of these up and slip in the pocket though.

Sapphire-Rose said...

Oh my gosh! What an amazing and interesting story! What a beautiful beach! Thank you for sharing this! I have a collection of sea glass which I have collected from various beaches over the years, but we don't have a beach like this! Love it:-)
Sunshine, New Zealand