17 July 2009

Beach Sand, Fecal Contamination and Salmonella

Salmonella has been found in sand of playgrounds in Mona Vale, Winnererremy Bay, Warriewood, Palm Beach and North Avalon. One year on and the bacteria (Salmonella paratyphi bio var java) have resurfaced in the sand. In Dunbar Park, which is now closed the sand will be replaced with 'treated bark'. Both in May 08 and November 08 Mnly wrote about the connections between(exotic) pets, fecal contamination and aggregation of minors in beach sand.

New research has also found that people digging in beach sand or building sandcastles risk gastrointestinal diseases and diarrhea. The epidemiological study looked into sand contact activities and illnesses.

"Researchers found evidence of gastrointestinal illnesses, upper respiratory illnesses, rash, eye ailments, earache and infected cuts. Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal illnesses were more common in about 13 percent of people who reported digging in sand, and in about 23 percent of those who reported being buried in sand...We have known for some time that swimming in waters polluted by fecal contamination can result in illness, but few previous studies have focused on sand."

Beach users should use a hand sanitizer or wash their hands/body after contacting beach sand.

The runoff from urinating and defecating dogs at the beach promenade/wall, draining through the pvc pipes/stairs onto the beach sand does not seem to make the beach sand less risky.
Questions remain:
Where was the sand sourced from that covered the playgrounds?
Where can information be obtained regarding fecal contamination of beach sand at Manly Beach?

Sand, salmonella, e-coli and that cute pet, May 08
More salmonella mysteries on the Northern Beaches, November 08
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2009, July 10). Digging In Beach Sand Increases Risk Of Gastrointestinal Illness. Via ScienceDaily

Christopher D. Heaney et al., Contact With Beach Sand Among Beachgoers and Risk of Illness, American Journal of Epidemiology Advance Access published on June 18, 2009, Am. J. Epidemiol. 2009 170: 164-172; doi:10.1093/aje/kwp152

06 July 2009

Seven Little Penguins killed by a Dog at Manly Beach

Seven endangered Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) were butchered by one dog in their "protected" habitat in the National Park. (Images). This is the last and only colony in N.S.W.

Dog owner's attitude: ‘what’s one penguin against my dog’s freedomManly Daily 060709

Mnly Blog points to an abundance of dogs being illegally allowed to be on Manly Beach (daily), in penguin habitats, Shelly Beach, North Head NP and the National Parks. There seems to be very little enforcementt and a lot of encouragment of the introduced canine obsession. The unleashed dogs are gaining territory, as wildlife is lacking a sponsoring industry.

Many cafes have dogs INSIDE, and outdoors they have their snouts on the same plates as the customers. Staff fondle the saliva of dogs and then continue to serve human beings.

But then in a society where children are mauled by dogs, people have their face ripped off, little flightless birds only get a few lines, before its back to serious business.

It is a state of poverty to exchange rich biodiversity for a monoculture of dangerous animals mauling people and Australian wildlife.

How many convictions (on-the-spot fines) have been served on dog owners for illegal behaviour?
What proportion of resources are being devoted to the protection of wildlife?
What is the ratio of dog sponsorship by council, compared to the effective enforcement of the 'critical habitat' law?
Which tourist/visitor will want to see packs of dogs?

Update: 170709
T E N endangered penguins killed. Mnly Tweet
Penguin Habitat, Manly Cove

01 July 2009

Manly Beach Drift 'wood' - July

A monthly summary of what has washed onto the shore or beach through the winds, tides, waves or human action. Marine debris, flora and fauna, dead or alive:
010709Plovers reclaiming the beach.
Glass, as every day.
Erosion: The southern end of the beach is a building site. Two earth-moving machines and some 11 workers sifting through the rubble. Sandstone, basalt, cement garbage, iron bars, plastic/fibrous mats, that have been dumped there and now have to be hand-picked. Lines of vehicles parked on walking parade.

Erosion: Southern end of the beach manufacturing: fencing down, rubble largely removed. Diesel machines still pumping on the beach and pedestrian parade.

An unusual amounts of shells along the northern end of the beach. Ocean acidification thinning shells? One look along the beach, it is 4x4s crawling, with the odd rocket pumping CO2.
A large tanker hovering on the horizon. A motorboat racing just meters from the surfies' lineup towards the Cabbage Tree Aquatic Reserve to 'park'.Glass, splinters, broken bottles, as every day. Image displays the average daily crop of sharp health hazards on a beach.

A flock of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) feeding on the ground seeds of the Norfolk Island pines (Araucaria heterophylla). Two dogs have just been emptied on the same bit of lawn. Usually people: toddlers, bootcamp training clients etc roll on this turf.

Illegal dogs at the Queenscliff end daily. Dogs & motors in summary.

Erosion: 'Nature' and many labourers hand raked the beach for the last debris/rocks at the southern end.
Daily illegal dog on the beach
A lot of glass collected. All forms of styropore at the northern end of the beach.

The daily ocean-going ship hovering on the horizon. Elsewhere they now have " regulation mandating that all ocean-going vessels within 24 miles of the state's coast must use cleaner burning low-sulfur diesel fuel". Less premature deaths from air pollution/smog. Less acidification of the oceans.
Manly will probably soon give up "choking on noise and fumes of the international combustion engine" and be declared car-free. Breathing at Manly Beach and 'immersive Manly village' will be possible.

Fisheries without fishes, tourism without reefs, beaches and wildlife is not unthinkable. The collapse of the ecosystems would turn the present economic crisis into a hiccup.

Highlight was a pod of dolphins upstaging the surfies by leaping high out of the surf.

For some 3 million years they were at home in their coastal habitat. Now this aquatic sphere is claimed by our species. 'Flipper' becomes bait, 'bycatch' or it has its habitat degraded by us. Marine infrastructure clutter up the coast, anthropogenic noise pollution from motor boats, toxins, waste and (fishing) garbage degrade the ocean even further. Eating 'our' tuna and squid the 'competitors' are often turned into bait. Many die from entanglement and ingestion of fishing gear which is so often found at Manly beach.

There are many Eora depictions of Bottlenose dolphins engraved into Sydney sandstone. Let's continue to share the ocean with these smart marine mammals!Image: Google Maps: Manly Beach, pipe, North Steyne/Raglan St.

Five Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) flying north, leaving bird-unfriendly Manly behind.
A flock of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos feeding on the lawn under the pines on cones. Only the dogs posed a danger to them.
Two large dead fish at the beach. One a Porcupinefish as so often.

The appearance of the beach seems to be normalising.

Crested Terns, Crows and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos
Divine cloud formations, sun and rain. Permanent tropics in Sydney?
Again a new lot of plastic junk: Drink bottles, tops and a lot of polystyrene in the shape of orecchiette pasta. At the sandstone wall a small 'run-off' pipe exuded small polystyrene balls with a black discharge on to the beach.

At the horizon, two navy ships hovering. Scary to think that in an event of an oil spill, the 'clean-up' costs could not be recovered as it might "hurt Australia's reputation."

A large noisy (navy) helicopter swooped a couple of times along the beach /surfers. The 'manned scarecrow' chased all birds away. No marine mammals were in sight with that noise. Time to switch to 'unmanned' air vehicles in a regulated airspace.

Manly Beach going to the dogs...A dog owner took their dog in bright daylight illegally for a walk all along the shoreline of Manly Beach. Black plastic dog feces bags blowing on the dunes. On the walking parade a dog defecated in a puddle. The rain drained all untreated excrement down a pipe onto the beach. One would think, that with an explosion of the dog population, corresponding enforcement services are being made available. There is supposed to be a 'litter guard', where is the canine/feces guard? What is public health?The usual amount of glass on the beach. Maybe there will be less in the future, as premises of alcohol merchants will be regulated. Drinkers will no longer be trusted to handle glass after midnight in some places.

Re the daily ocean-going vessels at the horizon: Elsewhere a Clean Air Act will set standards for engine and fuel to improve the air quality, save lives and the environment.

Manly Beach is a unique parrot beach: White cockatoos during the day, lorikeets in the afternoon and black cockatoos occasionally. Echos of some 55 million years of a bio-diverse heritage. Locals facilitate captive non-Australian animals.

Junkspace: Plastic in the form of a lot of drink bottles, toys, lighters, caps/lids and 'party balloons'. Differently shaped polystyrene packaging bits today.
The usual crop of freshly cracked glass.
The 'run-off' pipe around Raglan St. has a distinct odour of miasma.

Tourist buses with idling motors spill their customers on to the beach. Photo, litter, off.
Yet again, another motorboat racing along the lineup and then, as they all usually do straight to the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve to 'park'.

Erosion: The southern end of Manly Beach is still fenced off. Rocks and black plastic mats are scattered over the beach.

Junkspace: An unusual large amount of packaging from a wasteful 'throw away' society. Plastic bottles, styrofoam cups and a very large number of 'disposable' domed plastic lids and foam cups. A large array of 'one-mouthful edibles wrappings'. Carry-out trays are the latest to be dumped at the beach. Maybe the cafes/crèche are too unbearable? If the sale of these wasteful items can not be prohibited or regulated, then it could at least be taxed.
Litter in the sky: A large clump of 'party balloons' released and stuck in + 25 m high pines. The entangled strings pose a hazardous environment for birds/wildlife. What form of 'waste management' will remove the plastic junk: kites, balloons etc out of the 'littered' giant pines?

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos
are boldy grazing the pine promenade for seeds, hoping, that all dogs are on a leash.
Daily dog illegally on Manly beach.

Diesel ploughing at the Queenscliff end. More diesel fumes belching from train-like trucks and vehicles 'moving' along road-side Steyne cafes. Other than deadly diesel fumes, the ocean did not smell of kelp and salt.Erosion: Rocks, cement junk and black plastic mats still jumbled up on the Sth.Steyne end of the beach. The $3,000,000 building site 'stabilising the sea wall' all along Manly beach is supposed to be completed by 2010. Holding back the sea level rise for the "the long-term viability of the local economy".
A walled off rising ocean
, caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, might be a quick fix instead of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management that is interdisciplinary. Taking the needs of the coastal ecology into account and reducing CO2 emissions might be a sustainable prevention of a rapid retreat.
Image: Katsushika Hokusai , The Great Wave off Kanagawa , Tsunami via Zeno

Large waves, calling plovers and sunshine.

The dumped rubble of cement, plastic mats and sandstone is still exposed from the erosion from the Corso to the southern end of the beach.
The rubble and steep sandcliffs provide a welcome family entertainment in the school holidays. There are attractions like throwing the rocks around. Digging up the metal beach sign and converting it into a funfair guillotine is all part of recreation. Digging diarrhea sandcastles has branding potential as a theme park. If the kids are bored with chasing seagulls, then there are attention-grabbing helicopters hovering over the beach or the many planes overhead going to desirable locations.A last look at the historic sandstone wall, studded with life and remnant dune vegetation before the disaster preparedness wall will be errected. Will it equally be studded with an abundance of pvc pipes draining dog feces, lawn chemicals etc onto the beach? Will the sandstone stay? Will they get rid of the Asthma Weed?

The daily dog ON the beach of course. A procession of packs of dogs on the esplanade. Mostly driven in suvs to Manly Beach to be emptied. A minimum of three harnessed dogs, or at least one each on display. The white fluffy thing is so 'yesterday' and serious hunting animals are 'in' this season: Doberman, Great Danes etc. Fashion dictates and the old models get churned into a dog pound to get pulped or released into 'freedom'.

Most walkways are parked out with service trucks/utes from uncountable building sites. The noisy 'green machine' seems to go for peoples' toes sitting on benches at 10.40 am.

Broken glass of all colours, shapes and sizes.

Small to fist-size rocks along the southern end of the beach have emerged since the erosion. Ideal for toe-stubbing or family target practice.

The butt littering was overwhelming. A lot might have washed down from the roads with the rain. A couple of plastic lighters thrown in.
Styropore disintegrating into bubble-sized pieces. Broken glass

At the beach wall, dogs urinated on the wall/steps and the rain washed all down on to the beach sand.

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos picking seeds from under the cars and are in danger of being run over by speeding cars.

The beach stairs at Victoria Pde/ Sth. Steyne are hollowed out from underneath. Deep water and surf hits the stairs.200709
Severe erosion of the beach stairs at Victoria Pde/Sth Styne. Waves continue to undermine the stairs' foundations, distributing rubble and fibrous mats along the beach. Deep surf is pounding this area. Up to fist-size rocks have been dislodged and cover the previously sandy beach from the Manly Surf Live Saving Club to Raglan St.

An unusual amount of freshly cracked glass, a post weekend crop?
Some unusual shells at the northern end of the beach.


T h r e e dogs on Manly Beach illegally. A regular male dog owner walks along the entire esplande throwing a ball ONTO Manly Beach which his brown Australian Kelpie is fetching. A Doberman tied to the bottom of the stairs preventing access to the public. The daily dog at Queenscliff. No enforcement.

An angler set up multiple rods and clutter at the beach. Joggers got entangled in the 'loine'. Beach rage over disputed legitimate activities on a crowded beach. A health hazard! Time to make it a NO-TAKE area.Plastic 'take away' junk is increasing at a rapid rate. Plastic lighters and glass.

A lot of cut garden refuse. Endless leaves which are blown by petrol-powered 'leaf' blowers into the the gutter. Seen all over Manly the owner/ contractor blows the debris from the private proverty onto the public pathway/ road and finally into the gutter. Council workers do it too. All privatise the soundscape. The collected works are then flushed down the pipes onto Manly Beach and get sloshed back up onto the sand. It takes a lot of petrol and noise to achieve this state of 'tidyness'.

In the sky three light aircraft affording their paying clientele swooping views of Manly surfies. From the road (Steyne) roaring building noise as the road is cut open.

Two speeding jet skis (tautology) racing along Manly Beach. This could be life-threatening for the frequent long distance swimmers. Little Penguins feeding on the upper layers of the ocean and other marine mammals are also endangered by this petrol-fuelled activity.

Manly Beach as cheap garden tip? Rich in debris and garden refuse after a night's rain. Most large pieces are cuts from an iconic sub-urban palm: The Cocos palms (Arecastrum romanzoffianum), a weed. The rest is flushed or blown down to the beach with the air of petrol from the streets of suburbia. (see 230709 above)

The one-mouth plastic wrappers are rapidly increasing. Silencing devices to not get ones hands dirty? The odd plastic lighter.

The horizon looked uncluttered with an occasional 'bump' like a migrating Humpback whale. But then to allow jet skis and motorboats to speed is not very inviting for a large marine mammal mother and her infant. The time she needs to lift her breathing infant out of the water is often not granted in the motor-boat infested oceans. Many young have to die, or are 'put down' by 'benevolent' human beings after the freshly born and mother have been separated by noisy, speeding objects that criss-cross their migratory routes. Encroaching 'peep industries' also pose a danger.

A dead Rainbow Lorikeet on the beach. Either fed to death on sub-urban balconies and gardens. Or maybe a fox got it out of a pine?The daily illegal dog ON Queenscliff Beach. A lot of dog/fox turds left on the Esplanade lawn, awaiting rain to flush it down onto the beach sand.

A dolphin pod swimming up and down Manly Beach today. The group consisted of ten dark individuals that swam in a tight formation to occasionally form a vivid hunting? circle. The access of these marine mammals to the surfline was only possible, because of an absence of hooning motorboats or jetskis.

Shells all along the beach.
A lot of freshly cracked glass and styropore bits.

Along the Esplanade:
A noisy building frenzy all along the beach.
Event advertising (small pieces of cloth) being hung into the pines with the aid of a suv and crane idling and parked on the footpath, as most 'service' vehicles do. An absurd idea of communicating events with an high emission footprint. The daily green machine, just sitting there idling and adding to the noise pollution.A lot of dog feces was left on the walkway by irresponsible dog owners, despite the machine cleaning. Many people stepped into it and smeared it along. The rest just runs down the stairs/ through the many pvc pipes onto Manly Beach. Just on the other side of the beach wall people rolled in the 'sand'.

But then it is 'just' a hygiene and enforcement issue compared to the large scale ecological vandalism being committed by Australia, depriving other species of a right to existence and leaving a degraded 'quality of life' for the ones to come.

See also Driftwood of:
May, April, March, February, January, 2009