Monday, July 6, 2009
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.