December 8, 2016

Cedar Island – Crab Trap Removal

A beautiful day on the beach that turned turned into a sandstorm as the winds exceeded 20 knots and the water became extremely choppy just as we were finishing up and departing the island.

We were able to find and collect 82 crab traps.  Many of these traps were partially buried and needed to be dug and pulled out of the hole by multiple adults due to the weight of the wet sand inside them.  About half of the traps will be reused by SC DNR to build new oyster beds.  The insides of the cages will be filled with the empty oyster shells collected from seafood restaurants and then the cages will be planted strategically in an area where there is a high probability of building an oyster colony.

We intentionally worked to keep this project focused on crab traps and left all of the debris and trash behind on the island.  We hope to return next fall for a litter and debris cleanup.

A special note about the efforts of Ben Stone and Stevie Czwartacki from SC DNR as they battled the winds and chop to rescue a small boat that had hit a sand bar out in the bay.  We watched them from shore as their flat bottom boat was getting pushed around by the tide, chop and high winds making it almost impossible to get near the stranded boaters.  But after a few failed attempts and a great deal of persistence, they were able to pull off a rescue.  To add to their difficulty, their boat was already overloaded with crab traps we had collected which did not leave any space for moving around on deck.  At the time the stranded boaters were spotted, Ben and Stevie were on their way to a slightly sheltered area to pick up Elizabeth and John and then head back up river to the boat ramp.

Abby and Donna on ride out aboard Tom's boat as Abby tries not to lose her breakfast.

Abby and Donna on the ride out aboard Tom’s boat as Abby tries not to lose her breakfast.

David attempting to remove a crab trap from under a tree.
David attempting to remove a crab trap from under a tree.

Lucas with a dead gar fish that had that special rotting fish aroma.  Rudy gave Lucas permission to take the fish home and keep it in his bedroom but was overruled by Andrea and Thommy, Lucas' parents.
Lucas with a dead gar fish that had that special rotting fish aroma. Rudy gave Lucas permission to take the fish home and keep it in his bedroom but was quickly overruled by Andrea and Thommy, Lucas’ parents.

 

Eric, Mike and Abby dragging traps back to a collection point.

Eric, Mike and Abby dragging traps back to a collection point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone chipping in to remove a stubborn trap that had roots growing through it.

Everyone chipping in to remove a stubborn trap that had roots growing through it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abby, David, and Thommy digging out a trap.  Many times it took leveraging the weight of 3 adults to free a trap.

Abby, Fred, and Thommy digging out a trap. Many times it took leveraging the weight of 3 adults to free a trap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlotte and Lucas dig out and remove a trap without any adult assistance.

Charlotte and Lucas dig out and remove a trap without any adult assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

Lucas and Charlotte dragging their trap to a collection point.

Lucas and Charlotte dragging their trap to a collection point.

 

 

 

 

 

Dad and daughter on a mission (Eric and Charlotte)

Dad and daughter on a mission (Eric and Charlotte)

 

 

 

 

Abby head back for water

Abby heading back for water

My guess is the SC DNR sea turtle group decorated this tree in anticipation of our cleanup.

My guess is the SC DNR sea turtle group decorated this tree in anticipation of our cleanup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John and Fred removing the crab trap decorations from the tree.

John and Fred removing the crab trap decorations from the tree.

 

 

Loading the DNR boat.  Stevie and Ben on the boat.  Elizabeth, John and Fred in the water.

Loading the DNR boat with crab traps. Stevie and Ben on the boat. Elizabeth, John, Thommy and Fred in the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crab trap collection that DNR will return to pick up.  Due to the weather turning multiple trips between the boat ramp and the cleanup area was impossible.

Crab trap collection that DNR will return to pick up. Due to the weather turning on us, making multiple trips between the boat ramp and the cleanup area to collect them all was impossible.

Dave's photo of some of the crab traps we collected in front of the decorated tree.  We had 3 pile of traps at collections spots along the beach.

Dave’s photo of some of the crab traps we collected in front of the decorated tree. We had 3 piles of traps at collections spots along the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wounded Nature volunteers for today's project.

Wounded Nature volunteers for today’s project.

 

Wounded Nature – Working Veterans volunteers:

Tom Daugherty
Donna Monk
Fred Herrmann
Abby Olack
Mike Olack
Thomas Schanz
Andrea Schanz
Lucas Schanz
Eric Dietrich
Charlotte Dietrich
David Smalling
Rudy Socha

SC DNR participants
Ben Stone
John Heinsohn
Elizabeth Gooding
Stevie Czartacki

 

Media Coverage:

This article appeared in a number of SC publications:
http://www.scnow.com/news/local/article_b8ec41a6-4c04-11e4-b28b-001a4bcf6878.html

This short AP article went nationwide (adjacent coastal photo has nothing to do with our cleanup):
http://wjcl.com/2014/10/04/group-removing-crab-traps-other-gear-on-sc-coast/ 

 

Wounded Nature works year round to cleanup America’s coastal areas.  Most of these areas can only be reached by boat and include rural beaches, tidal marshes, and high tide line collection points.  Our work results in reducing the deaths of sea turtles, dolphins, sharks and marine life.  Cleaning these wildlife habitats results in increased recreational and commercial seafood production including clams, oysters, shrimp and fish.  Boats are usually needed on our cleanups making our cleanups expensive to conduct.  Your donation can place a volunteer on the coast and help remove another cubic yard of litter and debris creating a small stretch of pristine beach and coastal area where wildlife breed and live.