Glass Beach, California

Christmas Eve and Deelow wanted to go for another adventure with the dogs. So with her, Sam, Me, and the dogs Chloe, Corvo, and Yusuf drove to Fort Bragg about three hours from where we were. I suggested Glass Beach because of the unusual rocks made of glass found in the area. Those sea glasses were molded from years of dumping garbage into an area of coastline near the northern part of the town.

“In 1906, Fort Bragg residents established an official water dump site behind the Union Lumber Company onto what is now known as “Site 1”. Most water-fronted communities had water dump sites discarding glass, appliances, and even vehicles. Locals referred to it as “The Dumps.” Fires were often lit using Molotov Cocktails to reduce the size of the trash pile.

When the original dump site filled up in 1943, the site was moved to what is now known as “Site 2”, the active dump site from 1943 until 1949.

Dump site at the beach

When this beach became full in 1949, the dump was moved north to what is now known as “Glass Beach”, which remained an active dump site until 1967.

The California State Water Resources Control Board and city leaders closed this area in 1967. Various cleanup programs were undertaken through the years to correct the damage. Over the next several decades, what was biodegradable in the dumpsites simply degraded and all the metal and other items were eventually removed and sold as scrap or used in art. The pounding waves broke down the glass and pottery and tumbled those pieces into the small, smooth, colored pieces that often become jewelry-quality, which cover Glass Beach and the other two glass beaches (former dump sites) in Fort Bragg.”

Yusuf at the beach

We took the dogs out and to our surprise, there were plenty of people from the parking to the beaches itself. We had to go to another place for Chloe who keeps barking on all the people and dogs we came across with. We tried going to a more secluded place but it was difficult to do so, Sam and Yusuf went out to get some “glass rocks” while we stroll around the rocks. The glass does look nice as I look at some and thinking where it came from.

Beach cleanup

“There are three Glass Beach sites in Fort Bragg where trash was dumped into the ocean between 1906 and 1967. Site Two (1943-1949) and Three (1949–1967 – “Glass Beach”) are located at the end of the path that begins on the corner of Elm Street and Glass Beach Drive. These sites are accessible by foot and by a short climb down the cliffs surrounding the beach. Site One (1906–43) is 1/4 mile south of Site Two and has become accessible by foot as of January 2015 when the northern section of the new Coastal Trail in Fort Bragg opened.

Glass Beach

In 1998, the private owner of the property began a five-year process of working with the California Coastal Conservancy and the California Integrated Waste Management Board for the cleanup and sale of the property to the state. Following the completion of the cleanup, the California Department of Parks and Recreation purchased the 38-acre (15 ha) property adjacent to Glass Beach, and it was incorporated into MacKerricher State Park in October 2002.”

with Corvo

We took several pictures and Deelow told Sam to return the rocks she took which she did.  There were other people collecting the glass which led to a decline, fortunately, there is a movement going on preserving its uniqueness.

“The beach is now visited by tens of thousands of tourists yearly. Collecting is discouraged by State Park Rangers on the section of “Glass Beach” adjacent to the state park, where they ask people to leave what little glass is left for others to enjoy,.

There is currently a movement by Captain J.H. (Cass) Forrington to replenish the beaches with discarded glass. Captain Forrington, founder, owner and curator of the local Sea Glass Museum, is a strong advocate for a full time research facility studying the benefits to the marine environment of the minerals used to make and clarify the glass, with a supporting aquarium that highlights the rich diversity of life found in Fort Bragg’s waters, with the ultimate goal of promoting the formation of glass reefs to initiate new food chains worldwide on all the badly depleted continental shelves.

On December 10, 2012, the City Council of the City of Fort Bragg discussed the beach glass depletion and declined to move forward with replenishment efforts due to the cost and perceived likelihood that required permits would not be approved.”

We still have other places to cover, so after letting the dogs enjoy the water and the beach we went on to our next destination, which is the downtown area.

Here is the link for more information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_Beach_(Fort_Bragg,_California)

Say Cheez!

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