This year the amount of plastic litter washing ashore is a fraction of that seen last year.

Storms, swells, wave and wind directions all conspire to return to land what we humans carelessly dumped directly, or indirectly into the sea.

I was invited by Jennifer Stock of the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary to be on her radio show along with Curtis Ebbesmeyer, author of “FLOTSAMETRICS AND THE FLOATING WORLD: How One Man’s Obsession with Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science”. Since 1990, Curtis has been studying the sea and how currents move the man-made trash constantly deposited in it.

Curtis told me that a current theory on the North-Pacific gyre is that it has an orbital period of about seven years and kind of wobbles around the large patch of garbage in the center of the gyre during that time.

Listen to Jennifer Stock interview Curtis on KWMR here.

You can read more about Curtis here

What is showing up in great numbers this year is lumber. Lots and lots of 8-foot long 2×4’s, 4×4’s and 4×6’s. Many of them as you’d find at Home Depot, a few are even straight.

I feel a bit like an ox, tilling the soil as I drag lumber down the beach. After some trial and error, making the rope just the right length keeps the leading edge from plowing too deeply as well as from smacking my feet.