Hey there sports fans, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers! The Hun here, reporting from Gerlach where the DPW Playa Restoration team is off and running. We’re all getting excited to find out how Black Rock City did on the 2011 MOOP Map — but before the scores start coming in, let’s talk about how they’re set.
What is MOOP?
MOOP 1. (noun)
An acronym for Matter Out Of Place, meaning any thing or impact not native to the immediate environment, especially as it applies to the citizens of Black Rock City and the greater Burning Man community in regards to the founding principle of Leave No Trace.
- Examples: trash, bottles, cans, cigarette butts, fireworks, glow sticks, bottle caps, but can also be in the form of debris from camp fires, wood, plastic, metal, glass, and plants.
- Sentence: “I’m glad that everyone had a wonderful time but your camp sure did leave a whole lot of moop behind!”
- Moop can also be a condition not natural to the environment: burn scars, grey water, and dunes.
The MOOP Line Sweep
The main body of the Restoration team sweeps across the city grid in a line, a tactic we call Line Sweeps. Each team member is armed with a MOOP bucket and a grabby stick for picking up trash, so they can collect MOOP without stopping. But when they arrive in a zone that has more MOOP than usual, they start to slo-o-o-o-ow down.
When it’s stop-and-go, that means the Playa Restoration team is in a Yellow Zone. But they’re still moving, until they hit a Red Spot. Red Spots and Red Zones stop the line in its tracks. Suddenly, our brave team members are on their hands and knees, digging a million tiny shards of glass out of the dirt.
Here’s what a green area looks like:
For another way to look at it, here’s a detail from last year’s MOOP Map:
MOOP and the Map
As the front line marches across the city grid, two Scribes follow behind, noting its pace. They give each block a general score, based on how fast the team is moving. Scribes also take note of any “hot spots” — piles of wood chips, burn scars and other problem areas. They take photos of these spots, and collect the GPS coordinates. Hot spots will later be cleaned up by another team, the Special Forces — but we’ll go into that later.
At the end of each day, the Line Bosses and Scribes meet with the Playa Restoration team leader. They mark a giant map of the city with green, yellow and red markers. They talk about the hot spots with Special Forces members. When it’s all complete, the data will be painstakingly transcribed to the digital map you know and love.
Speaking of that map… We’ve got the first set of results now, and we’re getting ready to release ‘em. The Line Sweeps started on the back streets of the city, but soon moved up to the front streets. Did you camp on Liminal and party on Esplanade? Get ready to find out how you did, MOOP wise.
Tune in tomorrow to cheer on your neighbors and your DPW Playa Restoration team! ‘Til then, this is The Hun signing off.