Glass Beach is an Example of Nature Fighting Back Against Human Waste

 

Glass Beach is an Example of Nature Fighting Back Against Human Waste

There's a stretch of beach in the Fort Bragg area of California where visitors will find a beach mainly filled with glass where the sand is. If you climb over some rocks and tide pool areas near Elm Street, you'll find much of the glass still intact. Make sure to visit early in the day when the sun is up, you'll find a beautiful collection of color glass, small bits of metal, and an amazing array of human wastefulness mixed with nature. 


Where did this glass come from?

In 1906, residents in Fort Bragg, California set up a water dump site (now known simply as Site 1). At the time, it was usual for communities to set up areas of their town to designate as water dump sites for glass, cars, and appliances. Sometimes, the waste would be burned in order to reduce the trash in these areas.

In 1949, the trash in the area was moved to another location (now known as "Site 2") where it became the new dump site until 1949. After that, the dump was moved a little north where the Glass Beach location current is. The area was used as a dump site until 1967. 

The local community ended the dumping in 1967 and started a program to clean the area. They removed all metal from the site and left all biodegradable waste where it was. Over the years, the waves from the ocean wore out the glass and broke it down as it tumbled which each tide. 

In 1998, organizations in the area decided to sell the property to the state of California. After the beach was cleaned up, the 38-acre beach property was renamed MacKerricher State Park in 2002.

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