Monday, July 6, 2009

Tired Monday

The July 4 celebration at the island was over the top. There were probably close to 400 boats and well over a thousand people on the beach.

I've tried to capture the scene here, but it's really hard to realize just how much drinking was going on unless you were there.

On Sunday, what was left on the beach was close to a ton of trash. I did the best that I could to pick up and consolidate the beer cans, liquor bottles, pieces of clothing, and coolers that were left. But it was a nearly impossible job.

I worked for over three hours in the morning and then decided that I needed to get others to help. I called the local Waterkeeper and he came out to give a hand, along with a news crew from the local network. Another friend who has a large pontoon boat came out and after hauling trash from the beach in a cart, it was all loaded on his boat to be carried to another location where it could be loaded into trucks.

I am tired from all of this today. I didn't think that so many young people would care so little about a place that I think is beautiful. It's a privilege to be able to walk that beach, and it has become a really special place to me. On Saturday it looked like a giant frat party. And on Sunday, it looked like a land fill.

Do you remember the commercial in which the Native American cried because of all the litter? Well, that was how I felt on Sunday.

At least the island was clean when we left. And I think that I heard it sigh happily as we sailed away near dark. Or maybe it was just the wind and waves.


  1. welcome back Syd, glad you had a great weekend. Sorry youhad to do so much cleaning up. I cannot understand peeps nowadays, with leaving their trash anywhere. They forget in a few years time they will be US and wonder WTF happened to the places they loved to go.
    You were so wonderful to help with the clean up. I cannot get over all the trash and beer cans. WOW!!

    I am sure the beach thanks you.. Welcome back and SMILES

  2. It is so sad that people have no respect for the beauty that surrounds them. Rather than soaking in all that is wonderful around us they choose to drink it all away. The beach looks beautiful. I am glad that you were there to give it a helping hand.

  3. I appreciate your willingness and effort to pick up after so many who are so inconsiderate/rude. You could blame a lot of it on the booze but wouldn't that mean there'd be about 300 wrecked boats there as well?

    I constantly am amazed at how willing we are to foul our own nests.


  4. Thank you, Syd! I would like to compliment your parents for instilling you a respect for nature and its beauty. Thank God for people like you who care!
    Hugs, Anonymous #1

  5. I don't think it was just the wind and waves that you heard. I'm sure you heard that island expressing appreciation for the tender loving care you and those who joined you gave it.

    You're a great guy to have been willing to use your precious time to clean up. Sometimes, how people act makes me squirm at the idea of being human. Well, at least I keep my side of the street clean - literally and figuratively.

    Prayer Girl

  6. Thanks for your efforts.
    I won't get started on my feelings of the lack of respect from people of ALL generations.

  7. It just makes me very sad. You can't always blame the young people, or the drunk ones.I have been horrified at people who throw down cig butts at a church, with a pre-school...and they're sober. Thanks for taking the time to clean up.

  8. Good for you for asking for help.

  9. We used to live in a small town on the west coast of a large island, which was a favoured destination for kids on spring break.

    Each year, after the long weekend, volunteers and gov't employees would be able to fill one green garbage bag for every 100 ft or so of previously pristine roadway through the National Park.

    Ditto for the incredibly beautiful beaches. It was heartbreaking.

    As a young kid, I was taught:If you can carry it in, full, you can carry it back out, empty!

  10. I have a park where I run. I have been going there almost every day, summer and winter, for almost 18 years. I consider it "mine" in a way, as it is very underused. Except on the 4th, when the city has fireworks there. Just like your beach, it was absolutely trashed this week end. It got me upset like it was my back yard..

  11. Unbelievable.

    Somehow in my upbringing, I got a disproportionate disgust for littering. In my addiction, I've justified stealing, lying, and many other vices, but I can't bring myself to drop ANYTHING on the ground. And when I see others litter, rage just wells up inside!

    Glad you're back, Syd.

  12. wow- that's quite a bit of garbage left over! looks like a good time was had by all : )

  13. Syd, glad to see you're back--and your front, too? Congratulations on the cleanup.

  14. I think you are a pretty swell guy to take care of your beach.

  15. I think it did sigh....

    I remember that ad with the Native American guy, it impacts me to this day.

    Its amazing how much partying takes place these days....were we that bad in the 70's/80's? I could not leave trash on a beach.

    Thank you on behalf of nature for taking such good care of it.

  16. That is so sad. Unfortunately, it doesn't surprise me in the least. It is the way of the times.

  17. i salute you for what you did. i cannot stand it when this happens...

  18. I think the pictures captured the frat party quite well, what a mess. thank goodness for people like you who will take the time to clean up after the irresponsible mess makers.

  19. Syd,
    The young people really worry me. Their lack of respect for nature, others, and themselves is very apparent. I'm not talking all young people, but it seems like quite a lot of them.

    Young folks are always walking or biking or skateboarding in the middle of the streets here and won't get over when a car comes. That makes me madder than hell. My friend thinks that it's arrogance. I tend to agree.

    It was nice of you to pick up, especially since you didn't contribute to the mess. Hope it was a good holiday.



  20. Wow. That's nuts. It amazes me that folks don't realize that these spaces are a responsibility and a gift - geez.

  21. When I was in my drinking days I would leave the places I visited strewn with cans.
    So I was no better, you have a great life Syd, that island sounds wonderful, its lucky to have you to watch over it


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