Manchester CLC Gives the Coast Some TLC

This week SCA Manchester packed up our bathing suits and suntan lotion and headed to the beach! Well that was a bit of an exaggeration, although not quite sunbathing weather; we were still lucky enough to have great temperatures in the mid 40’s. A great beach day compared to the wintry mess we will be experiencing the rest of the week. We counted ourselves blessed for this and enjoyed an amazing day in the beautiful coastal areas of Jenness and Rye beaches.

This was our best turn out for an event thus far this year. A whopping eleven members met us at Salvation Army first thing in the morning on Saturday, ready to spend one of their weekend days hard at work to benefit our coastal habitats. We met up with our fellow beach cleaners at Jenness Beach to begin our work. Blue Ocean Society provided each team with a trash check list to track what type of debris was removed from the area, while Lauren provided each team with a scavenger hunt check list to see who could find quirky trash and natural items. Although no sand dollars or blue crabs were sighted, several members found unique rocks and seashells as well as a barbeque. Too bad we forgot our spare hot dogs and hamburgers! With plenty of volunteers present, the workload was light, but all-in-all a total of more than 30 pounds of debris was removed from the homes of seals, shorebirds, horseshoe crabs, and countless other coastal critters. After the work was finished we played a hilariously challenging game that required a blindfolded student to complete a task by following voice commands of another student. Of course this would not be tricky enough so we had to add a twist. The person giving commands had to have his or her back facing the scenario so they could not see what the blindfolded person was doing. The commander had to relay instructions to the blindfolded person by interpreting instructions given to him or her by the rest of the group—none of which could speak. Sounds confusing but it made for some very silly instructions and healthy amounts of frustration.

After this we headed to the Seacoast Science Center, where we helped them with spring-cleaning. We vacuumed and disinfected just about every single surface in the place. We had to hold ourselves back from applying the Lysol directly to a few extra-snotty looking children in the exhibits that day. This important work helps the center continue their mission of environmental education for all. Once the place was sparkling, we got a personal tour of the shark tank, where we got to touch a few cat sharks. No fur on these creatures, just rubbery skin that made a few of our members make quite silly faces upon touching. We also got to meet and learn about a 60 year old lobster. No, that was not a typo, this monster lobster was indeed 60 years old, and its claw alone was the size of some of our members’ heads.  We learned that lobsters never stop growing as they age, and that the oldest known lobster lived to be 110 (can you imagine the size of that whopper?! Could feed all of Bear Brook a five star meal!). After lots of learning, and enjoying the beautiful view from the center it was time to head back to Manchester. Our final moments of the day were spent sitting on the coastal rocks, enjoying the warmth and the ocean view, and we had to pull the students off the rocks like starfish. Hopefully it won’t be too long until we can all head back to the beach for another productive yet enjoyable getaway.