Former Dump Site Today is a "Sparkling" Tourist Attraction

Glass fragments at Guantanamos Glass Beach

Mother Nature works in mysterious ways, and that’s a good thing in this case. Near Fort Bragg, California lies MacKerricher State Park nestled along the scenic shoreline. The beach here is known as “Glass Beach” due to the millions upon millions of colorful pieces of glass that line the beach. Through decades of waves washing broken glass onto the shoreline, the water has naturally smoothed the glass to look almost like polished jewels.

This location wasn’t always so picturesque. In the early 20th century, area residents would dump trash over the bluffs and into the ocean. Back then dumping laws were far less stringent than they are today. It wasn’t until the early-to-mid 1960s that local officials banned dumping at the site. The California State Park system bought the 38-acre Glass Beach property in 2002. You can now visit the site and check out the Glass Beach Museum which has free admission. Just don’t take any of the glass pieces home with you as a souvenir; that’s strictly prohibited.

So while illegal dumping of trash and other materials is certainly not a practice that should be encouraged, this is one case where Mother Nature made good on our mistake.

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