Glass Beach, located near Fort Bragg in Northern California, used to be the place where residents brought all forms of their trash starting with 1949.
At the time, the standards for where and how people can deposit their trash were much lower and less regulated.
In the early 1960s, officials begin to regulate what was dumped on the beach, first putting a stop to toxins and then to everything when the North coast Water Quality Board moved the official dump to a different location in 1967.
Though that was nearly half a century ago, the remnants are still very clear.
Much of the glass that was left on the beachfront during its dirty past has not gone far, and years of the thrashing waves have softened and polished the broken pieces.
Now the beach is covered with stone-sized pieces of sea glass, coloring the seascape and adding a tourist element to the natural beauty of the spot.
Glass Beach is part of the MacKerricher State Park and has another side to its history, as it is the only area of the California Park System to have been at one point in time a part of the Mendocino Indian Reservation.
Because of this historic significance, Glass Beach is maintained by the parks department which does its best to preserve the natural, and not-so-natural, beauty of the beach.
“Rangers are currently working to educate and inform the public and we confiscate and return collected sea glass to the beach whenever possible,” ranger Tim Quandt told the official Fort Bragg website.
Glass Beach, located about three-hour’s drive north of San Francisco, is a major tourist attraction. While that is good for the locals, it does present a problem for conservationists who want to stop visitors from taking pieces home with them.
“The truth of the matter is that it is a misdemeanor to remove any artifacts from State Park property. Park rangers have not begun citing offenders…yet, but that day will eventually arrive,” Tim Quandt continued.