Before we get totally freaked out by climate change and the United States bowing out of the Paris Agreement, let the glass beach near Fort Bragg remind us of unexpected consequences and Mother Nature’s novel solutions to humankind’s poor treatment.
Surely, some unexpected consequences of man intervention’s in nature are negative, I’m not arguing that, but this one is a positive.
Fort Bragg, Calif., sits on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, and for decades up until 1967, the city’s trash–everything from cars to batteries to bottles, cans and appliances–was unceremoniously dumped over the cliffs into the ocean. This was common practice in many seaside cities for centuries.
Over the next several decades, the biodegradables, well, degraded, and the metal and other items were eventually removed and sold as scrap or used in art. Mother Nature’s pounding waves broke down the glass and pottery and tumbled those pieces into the small, smooth, colored pieces–a rainbow of sea glass.
The beach looks like most other beaches from far away. A beautiful and wild place with waves crashing unendingly on the shore.
But close up, the sand is glass–glass smooth enough to walk upon.
If you find the beach interesting, you must check out the International Sea Glass Museum on the south edge of Fort Bragg.