In 1906, Fort Bragg residents used a site behind the Union Lumber Company to dump their rubbish. And as tragic as this sounds today, it really wasn’t an uncommon occurrence back then. In fact, most water-fronted communities in the US had water dump sites for glass, appliances, and even vehicles.
This initial dump site was known to locals as ‘The Dumps’, and when it was filled, it was moved to another location, and then another, which was an active dump site until 1967.
Once the site was closed, and after various clean-up programs, nature did its work, pounding the remaining glass into smooth, polished, coloured glass, and what was once a refuge for refuse is now known as ‘Glass Beach’.
The site is part of MacKerricher State Park which makes up part of the California Park System and is, nowadays, somewhat ‘protected’.
In summer, around 1000 to 1200 visitors visit the beach each day, and these tourists would collect the ocean-washed ornaments for souvenirs, leading to the depletion of beach glass.
These days, removing any of the glass from the beach is prohibited and there is a movement to replenish the beach with more discarded glass.
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