Sunday, June 28, 2009

A trashy topic

People were very happy when Ft. Pickens reopened to the public and many people have been taking time to visit the old fort, enjoy the beaches, and do a bit of fishing from shore.

Unfortunately, people who do not respect our beautiful island have been given the same access to these pristine areas which have rebounded with wildlife in the years the park has been closed. Now, in addition to the elegant herons, osprey, and playful dolphin, I'm also seeing large amounts of trash.

On the Sunday morning Ft. Pickens patrol there is always more trash than I can possibly pick up in my Mule. Plastic bags are everywhere - some full of trash, others blowing around on the sand until they end up in the Gulf of Mexico or Santa Rosa Sound.

A large percentage of the trash I pick up is plastic bottles.

Oddly, I've been finding a lot of fireworks. At the site of the photo above I picked up around 60 pieces. About half were bottle rockets. The other half were larger displays. Is there any wonder the poor sea turtles are frightened away from shore when they are looking for an area to nest?

Empty packaging of the smaller fireworks are strewn about also.

Some people are wonderful about picking up after themselves and even go out of their way to help when they see trash left behind by others. They are setting a good example for the next generation. Still, it's sad to realize there are other people who have such little regard for our environment.

If you are interested in Ocean Conservancy or would like to learn more about International Coastal Clean-up Day (September 19, 2009), please click HERE. You may also be interested in checking out the website of Emerald Coastkeeper, a local Waterkeeper Alliance Member, by clicking HERE.

My special thanks to those who go out of their way every week to help keep our beaches clean and trash-free.


Angela said...

oooo, that makes me so angry!!!

i think the thing that bugs me worse than trash is people who don't recycle. it takes just as much energy to put it in the trash as it does the recycle bin... but nooo.

makes me wish i were home to help clean up :(

BeachnRiver Kayak Rentals said...

I feel the same way when I see trash in the Bon Secour River. My favorite place, (and joy to many locals) "the IceBox" is constantly littered with beer cans, bottles and such. There isn't a time when I kayak I don't retrieve a sack full of trash. I applaud those who consider it good stewardship to pick up after those who litter. That your message remains positive, and provides links welcoming volunteers will hopefully motivate others to help with your mission.

tiki island said...

DJ this always makes me so angry every morning we walk arould and pick up the trash This is one of the most beautiful places in the world and respect just seems to have fallen by the wayside! But i will always continue to pick these leftovers up from people who don't care

D said...

OOOOoooo that makes my blood boil.
Litter is my biggest pet peeve. I just don't understand how anyone could think it's okay just to leave their trash on the ground! What is WRONG with these people? Thankfully, there are good citizens like you to help pick up after the nasties.

Lou in Denver said...

Littering seems to be the mindset of those who were not taught the concept of good manners at home.

For some, ignorance is not the blame.It is just plain laziness and disrespect...especially when containers are provided for the trash! Who would dare to leave garbage in church, or another public place?

We were taught to always clean up our trash from camping and boating trips following the rule.."what you take also take out."

Unfortunately, we managed to collect much more to take out than we initially brought in!