August 29, 2008

Fay Leaves More Than the Usual Deposits From Sea MARINE TRASH IN MARSHES The Tropical Storm Washes Up Litter That is Hard to Remove From Shore.


BRUNSWICK - Tropical Storm Fay is gone, but marine trash including plastic bottles, light bulbs and broken chunks of plastic foam remain in her wake, trashing the area's marshes.

Wrack, which is dead marine and marsh vegetation, occurs naturally, but the storm blew man-made trash into the mix and left it packed against the shoreline, said Spud Woodward, Georgia Department of Natural Resources assistant director for marine fisheries.

"Wrack is Mother Nature's recycling program, which we've now contaminated with all our trash," Woodward said.

When wrack decomposes, it recycles nutrients back into the marsh and ocean environment, he said.

When Fay blew the wrack on shore, it also contained trash that was likely dumped into the water off ships and by recreational boaters and other litterbugs. The storm wrack and trash landed so high up onshore that regular tides won't take it back out to sea, he said.

"It's unsightly, that's obvious, but it contains objects that don't belong there. The debris poses an entanglement hazard and other dangers to wildlife and marine animals," Woodward said.

Although volunteers and work crews have begun cleaning up the debris, he said there is a better solution.

"This illustrates all the trash that we have out there in the water, and why we need to stop doing it," he [email protected], (912) 264-0405

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