September 12, 2010

Glass Beach

You’ve probably heard of black sand beaches, but have you ever heard of a glass beach? Fort Bragg is home to one of the most unique beaches in the world. In 1949 the area around Glass Beach became a public dumping ground. Residents would pitch their garbage—including cars, batteries, old clothing, and household garbage, which included lots of glass—straight into the ocean. Some 20 years later, in 1967, the North Coast Water Quality Board realized the error of their ways and planned a new dump away from the coast.

In the meantime, Mother Nature has pounded away at the refuse and deposited tons of polished glass back onto the beach. The occasional lucky visitor will still find remnants of the beach’s past in the form of a rusted spark plug or some other oddity, but mostly what you’ll see are thousands of pieces of glass sparkling in the sun (or fog). Visitors beware, collecting is strictly prohibited. 

Photo by Mike Manville

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