Glass Beach, USA
Everybody will admit that, garbage is dirty, eye sores and cause damage to the natural aesthetic beauty. We are aware that, garbage is the other name of pollution. Garbage pollutes the air, soil and water and thus adversely affects the environment. Throwing trash or garbage in public places is a social crime. However, though rarely, there are some exceptions, when the garbage creates beauty and that is what happened to Glass Beach of Fort Bragg in California.
Unfortunately, it is a fact that, even today, there are some water fronted communities, who dump their trash in the water. In 1906, the residents of Fort Bragg in California established an official water dump site behind the Union Lumber Company. Everything from cars to cans, bottles to bicycles was unceremoniously pushed over the cliffs into the ocean. When this original dump site filled in 1943, the site was moved to what is now known as 'Site 2', which was active till 1949. Following the process of shifting, the dump was then moved further north to what is now known today as 'Glass Beach', which remained an active dump site until 1967.
Over the years, programs were undertaken to undo the environmental damage. From time to time, much of the metal and other non-biodegradable items were sold as scrap. Fires were often lit to reduce the heaps of the trash pile. Finally, when the landfill was closed, the trash had been left alone to itself.
In 1967, the California State Water Resources Control Board and the local authorities closed the beach and had worked on cleaning it. However, in the mean time, Mother Nature responded to this undue abuse with a nice surprise. Over the years, while mountains of broken glass, plastic, bottles and other debris lay on the shore under the warm rays of the sun, the unrelenting waves of the ocean crashed into the dump pile, broke down the glass and pottery shards, tumbled those pieces into the small, smooth, multicoloured stone pieces that often look like beautiful jewelry. Continuously swayed by the sea breeze, those colourful pebbles gradually covered the whole beach, making it a rainbow beach.
For the cleanup and sale of the property to the state, the private owner of the property began a five-year process of working with the California Integrated Waste Management Board and the California Coastal Conservancy in 1998. After the completion of the cleanup process, the California Department of Parks and Recreation purchased the 38-acre (15 ha) Glass Beach property, and in October 2002, it was incorporated into MacKerricher State Park. Since then, almost the entire territory of the former landfill has become part of the MacKerricher State Park, located at Fort Bragg.
Obviously, Glass Beach gets its name from the smooth colorful sea glass pieces, which can be found on the pebbly beach. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the northwestern corner of Fort Bragg, it is just south of Pudding Creek and stands at the end of the Glass Beach Trail, that runs from the town center.
Glass Beach is a fascinating site and since the 1980s, it has become a popular tourist destination. Nowadays, visitors are no more allowed to collect the colourful pebbles from the beach. However, as a remembrance of the amazing beach, they are always free to purchase the souvenirs created by the local craftsmen from the sea glass.