These petitioners are in favor of Replenishing the Glass Beaches of Fort Bragg, California, and would like the Fort Bragg City Council, as the local Coastal Act authority, to begin the process in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act that will allow replenishment to be undertaken.

Fort Bragg has the highest concentration of sea glass (or seaglass) in the world because the rock formations here set up unique wave patterns that keep everything on the beaches. Because nothing washes away, there are three main old dump sites and many auxiliary coves with sea glass, and the glass beaches of Fort Bragg are a constant major tourist draw. These Glass Beach tourists are critical to Fort Braggs economic health, and very important to the economic health of the county and state. Many tourists come to Mendocino County and Fort Bragg solely because of our now famous glass beaches.

The glass beaches not only bring a great deal of money into the economy through tourism, they also are already supporting a fledgling sea glass industry with products ranging from photography, to candles, picture frames, tiles, mosaics, fine jewelry and a sea glass museum.

As depletion cannot be stopped, due to Article 10 of the California State Constitution, and the impossibility of enforcing any sort of ban on collecting, and since the tourists are coming here to collect the sea glass, (not just look at it), if the glass beaches are to be preserved they must be replenished with pre-broken, pre-tumbled, non-sharp glass and terra cotta pieces.

Breaking and tumbling glass is how fake sea glass is made. Fake sea glass is an industry in other parts of the country and world that recycles glass in a constructive, profitable, way and the fake sea glass is often used in fish tanks, gardens, etc. Fake sea glass is often etched with acid to give it a frosted look. The glass and pottery used for the replenishment would be the same as this fake sea glass but without the acid etching and would come from contributions of items from the local community. Instead of making fake sea glass to recycle our glass and china, we would be making real sea glass, actual gems, and constructively recycling items that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

The North Coast Water Quality Control Board, who performed the cleanup studies for Glass Beach, considers the glass benign but it actually enhances the marine environment. Glass is made from sand and is colored with minerals. As the glass dissolves in the water, it releases the silica from the sand and the minerals used to color it. The same is true of Terra Cotta shards from pottery to fine china. These minerals form the basis of the food chain so each piece of glass or pottery is literally a mineral supplement that forms the very basis of the food chain. Marine biologists now study the marine environment in Fort Bragg because it is healthier than the surrounding area. Fort Bragg has 48 variety of the Chiton snail, for instance, which is more than anywhere else in California.

In addition, extensive ecological impact studies have already been performed by Broward County, Florida, before they deposited hundreds of tons of glass on the beaches of Fort Lauderdale in order to stabilize them. Those interested in signing this petition can read these studies by simply searching for Broward County Fort Lauderdale glass beaches on the Internet.

THE PETITIONERS ALSO OPPOSE the current policy of the city council of misinforming people about the legality of collecting sea glass here. To say it is forbidden only serves to confuse many of the tourists who come here for the glass beaches and drives away others who would come here and support our economy if they knew they could collect sea glass here.

We would like Fort Bragg promoted for its sea glass and sea glass industry, rather than the current policy, which is accomplishing nothing but creating confusion and diminishing tourism. Fort Bragg is the Sea Glass Capital of the World and should be promoted as such for the health of the local economies.


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Britney WolfBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
The Fort Bragg City Council


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