Thursday, August 27, 2009

Beaches and Trash

This past weekend my family and I took a little trip down to Galveston, TX for a last summer fling before school started this week. Overall it was a good trip. The hotel was nice and clean, the kids had a blast, my tan got darker, and we came home with lots of shells.

Even though we were not visiting the Atlantic or Pacific oceans, the beaches were nice. The waves were not very big, which was nice for the kids and you could wade out a good distance without the water getting too deep. One of the highlights of the weekend came Sunday morning as my husband and my oldest spawn were out playing in the water. They were very excited to not only see fishing jumping out of the water repeatedly but to see wild dolphins surfacing, apparently feeding. There were the usual sea gulls and pelicans flying around and doing what these birds do. It was a wonderful educational opportunity in more ways than one.

Now, anytime a trip like this is made a certain amount of education is expected to take place. As dutiful parents we point out how the tide comes in and out, how the birds find their food, what creatures the sea shells came from, and oh,by the way, look at how that plastic bag is washing up on the shore. Did you know we are polluting our oceans and animals eat all the plastic that ends up in the ocean? Here is a lesson I would prefer *not* to have with my child.

Even though we had a good time, I was disturbed by the trash that I saw on the beach. A straw here, plastic bag there, a plastic fruit cup somewhere else. Not only was it disturbing that this trash was lying on the beach but that no one was making a move to pick it up. People just kept looking at it and ignoring it even as the tide began to come in and threatened to take it out to sea.

Now, I will not claim that I picked up every piece of trash that I saw, even though I was tempted. I did pick up a few items however, including a plastic yo yo and a plastic bag that washed up beside me as I was coming out of the water. I did get some strange looks but if it encouraged one person to do the same or brought a little awareness it was worth it.

Overall the beaches were clean even though I did see room for improvement. I also can say that I did see cleaning crews out walking the beach the second day we were there picking up trash. The pictures I have included with this post are pictures that I took at the beach. All I have to say is, the Earth is your house too. If you expect the home you live in to be clean, why would not want to treat the planet the same way?

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