Monday, September 21, 2009

Shoreline Cleanup...What Went Right...and What Didn't

So Saturday afternoon was the day slated for our part in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up. It was a pretty nice day despite a few clouds. We had our gloves, our garbage bags. We had our team of cleaner-uppers.

But sometimes things don't work out exactly as planned.

Our team was scattered to the winds: one friend on the team had emergency gall bladder surgery, others in the emergency room with him, another friend was hours away with a car that wouldn't start....it was one of those days where cleaning the beach falls way down the priority list!

But Jeff and I decided that we had already planned to do this thing---and the beach wouldn't clean itself after all..

Among the eighty pieces of garbage we removed from Gartley Beach:

* a shotgun shell casing
* a moldering piece of carpet
* umpteen beer cans
* miscellaneous pieces of metal and plastic
*tangles of twine and disintegrating rope
* a smashed pair of eyeglasses
* a piece of green house plastic
"You're taking a picture of me picking up garbage?" Jeff asked quizzically. Well, yes, I am.

Halfway down the beach we saw a lone figure pulling litter from among the rocks. It was Mike, Kim's brother! Hurray, somebody else had come for the clean-up! He couldn't believe all the garbage we'd found! He had himself acquired quite a large shopping bag's worth of styrofoam and disposable coffee cups.

It's funny--when we arrived we really wondered if the beach had any garbage on it at all. To the casual eye, the beach stretched pebbly and clean and was littered with nothing more than oyster shells.

I am remembering all the pristine-looking shorelines we boated by on our whale-watching trip last weekend, hoping that they were as clean and untouched as they looked, and knowing that probably just wasn't so.

So anyway, we were halfway through the part of the beach that Kim had signed us up for, when the heavens opened up and our warm and pleasant afternoon turned into a pounding downpour. We got wet so fast we might as well have rolled a little in the tide-pools. Water dripping down our collars, we decided that finishing the other half (from the access road down to the Trent river) was a job for another day.

There's probably (sadly) lots of garbage waiting for us still. So if anyone wants to join me on a sunnier afternoon....? I'd like to finish the job. Oh yes, and then go have dessert at the Kingfisher like we'd planned!

2 comments:

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

Count me in for the other half!

When I heard that you & Jeff & Mike had all gone to the beach to clean it, regardless of cancellations and weather, I broke down and cried. To be perfectly truthful, I was pretty emotional about everything on Saturday.

But still. You guys are amazing. Thank you so much, and yes, I'd love to go back and do the other half, once life returns to something close to normal.

Pol* said...

Nasty business, that gallbladder thing.

Though I was sorry to bail out on the clean-up, I was still happy to go to my Sister-in-law and neice's birthday party (and eat the cake I made). Mmmmmm, desserts.