A California beach was transformed from an ugly trash-filled eyesore to what is now known as the glittering Glass Beach. Throughout the earlier part of the last century, local residents in Fort Bragg, California, used a small section of the beach as a dumping ground for litter and eventually so much waste had been thrown onto the beach that it began to be known as The Dumps. The area was so clogged with trash and pollution that it was finally closed down by the North Coast Water Quality Board, who began cleaning it up in 1967. However one unsolvable conundrum was how to clean up all the minuscule glass fragments that covered the beach – and here’s where the magic happened. Over the course of the next few decades, the waves hitting the sand did their work and voila – the ocean hosted its very own clean-up party, leaving the beach sparkling and new.

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The site is a reminder of the power of the sea, but is still no excuse for all the littering and polluting that preceded it. Nowadays the beach is an unofficial tourist attraction and is owned by the California State Park System who is working on incorporating it into the MacKerricher State Park which surrounds it.

Images courtesy of Digggs