CA and I (and a handful of others) chose the "Cleanup Sticks from the Rip-Rap" job for the fall cleanup at West River Sailing Club. We have a large checklist of things that need doing. In previous years I helped rebuild the dock. This year after something went wrong with my ankle, I didn't feel confident working on the dock. Instead, I limped around picking up sticks.
We filled a utility trailer with sticks. Filled. 8' x 4' by maybe 3' deep.
That's a recycling tubby half-full of plastic. We filled two of those.
Sadly, it's a mixed stream of every kind of plastic, so it's not generally recyclable. It's effectively trash.
Same with the stray pieces of pressure-treated lumber we picked out of the rip-rap: they can't be chopped for mulch. They're trash.
CA also found a nearly complete fish skeleton, courtesy of some carnivore who ate the fish, leaving the bones essentially intact.
And. What might be a seagull skull. Super light-weight bones.
The volume of trash was remarkable.
It's not that the sailing club is a particularly trashy place. Quite the opposite. We're generally pretty good about keeping the lawn clean even when there are big regattas and lots of visitors.
This is simply the global plastic problem, writ small on a little peninsula in the West River off Chesapeake Bay.
When they tell you there's a planet-wide Garbage Gyres in the middle of the ocean, your response should be anger. Unmitigated anger that plastic is not relentlessly sought out and recycled as soon as humanly possible. Separate recycling bins should be everywhere civilized people live. Everywhere.
The idea that we can simply throw plastic "away" is utter stupidity and needs to be actively and constantly fought. Plastic is a curse. It has a limited purpose, and it must be immediately recycled as soon as its purpose is met. Alternatives to indestructible plastic need to be put into places decades ago.
It was a beautiful day. The sailing club people are wonderful to hang around with. It's great to be with people who love the water and love to talk boats.