A special place

"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, it is a special place where I spend my afternoon."

Sunday, October 4, 2015

What a bunch of crap!

  Apalachicola Bay is considered one of the least polluted bays in the U.S. And it's true, there's no factories, or big industries, around the bay, but the amount of trash that  ends up on the shores of St. George Island, and surrounding islands, and coastlines, is staggering.

They're never too young to learn the importance of keeping the coastline clean

 Last weekend was the International Coastal Clean-Up. This is a world wide effort, sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, to clean up the waterways and shores of our earth. The things that are found, and the amount of trash that is collected, is unimaginable. Just in Franklin County alone, which includes St. George, over 12 tons of trash was collected!
Doug just moved here from Kentucky, with his family, and was anxious to be a part of keeping the islands clean
   This is the third year for me, coordinating the volunteers, that go over to Little St. George. This small, uninhabited island, was once part of the main island. until dredging created a cut, Bob Sykes Cut, to shorten the route of the shrimp boats, going out to the Gulf of Mexico.  This small uninhabited  island is only accesible by boat, and this year it took 3 boats, to take everyone over there. 
This group of volunteers made Little St. George, a little cleaner
 The volunteers ranged in age from 4 years old, to 71 years young.  In about 3 hours, covering about 3 miles of coastline on the west end of the "little" island, we filled 54 bags with everything from cigarette butts, to old, broken lawn chairs. One of the larger items that was found was an inflatable raft, that hadn't held air in quite awhile!

   Pieces of plastic, and styrofoam, are usual items on the shore. But, the biggest enemy, by far, is still the plastic bottle. In all, we collected well over 300 of them! Most of them were water, juice, and soda bottles. But, include bleach, oil, and even shampoo bottles, and the numbers are mind boggling.
   It gives you a good feeling to accomplish something like this, and feel like you've made a difference. But it's sad to think, only a small dent was made, and there'll be plenty more to pick up tomorrow. Unfortunately, when you live on an island, trash washing up on the shores, is a never ending battle.
   People need to understand, the smallest piece of trash that's thrown out on an island, or left on the beach, (cigarette butts are the worst of the small trash!) will eventually end up in the water. Whether the wind blows it, or the storms, hurricanes, surges, and high tides, carry it, it will always find a way. Not only does it mess up the eco system, but it can be deadly to the creatures in the gulf, and the bay, that have made it their home. 
   I'm proud to be a part of this yearly effort, and hopefully, it brings awareness to the people that visit, and they'll make that daily effort, to pick up a piece of trash if they see it. The beauty of St. George Island, and the health of Apalachicola Bay, is in our hands. 


1 comment:

  1. Good job. Our local sheriff department uses the inmates to keep the roads clean in our county. I have to keep our .7 mile drive clean. Disrespect-able renters in our neighborhood. Yes a bunch of crap!