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Hearing The Call To Clean Our Beautiful Blue Planet? by Victoria Pope Be The Change You Wish To See In The World Change Of Attitude And Change Of Heart As all manner of trash litters the lands of our majestic earth, feelings of guilt set in last month when everywhere I looked I was seeing trash, plastic, paper and junk. These feelings so overwhelmed and annoyed me, my duty to clean the environment I frequent happily began on a much more regular basis. After the category 5 hurricane Luis roared over St. Martin (French Caribbean) in 1995, the local government asked each of us to group and clean our area of residence on a Saturday. Many of us had been temporarily laid off from our jobs and although I was helping friends (whose house located in Pic du Parodis exploded) to clean up that day, my neighbors did not believe that I had been cleaning elsewhere and gave me a good telling off when I arrived home! However back then the storm improved communication between neighbors and I was touched that they bothered to give me a good telling off! To me this set values on team effort and the environment, two things I also value highly. Together truly we can make a difference! Fast forwarding to 2009, I noticed that the hurricane debris i.e. mangled roof zincs were still littering the beautiful green hills from 14 years ago. Another sad fact is that this trash is not biodegradable. This is non degrading trash that collects on sea bottom as well as around the coastal shorelines, roads, fields and hills. I remember collecting trash from the seashore and the sea floor when I was a little girl in the 70's when our family yacht was stationed in Puerto Rico. We stacked the trash in the dinghy and it was placed in a trash bin on the next trip ashore. My present family and I have collected trash on Pinel island, Tintamarre and Ile Fourche islands on weekend sailing trips over the past 6 years. My new endeavor was to start cleaning bigger areas and on a much more regular basis. This began with cleaning the shoreline where I walk my dog! Last December, we had begun stacking rubbish floating in from all parts of the Caribbean, Africa and Spain, higher up on the coast facing the sea. My sailor neighbor continued stacking these piles of rubbish three weeks later. I started to clean the path where we moor our dinghy during every trip ashore and I began pulling out shredded plastic bags hung up in the trees. Then my partner and I started to tackle the main
road on our way back from hiking trips in the hills, as rubbish flies off the bin trucks on the way to the dump at the end of this same road. During the following week we came ashore and to find a mechanic had dumped a load of car parts, car towing straps and a stove at the entrance of the footpath where we go ashore. The public dump has been privatized recently and now there is a small fee to dump commercial garbage. We had already noticed that members of public had begun dumping commercial trash in the littoral area of the park reserve of Grandes Cayes beach. We slowly gathered small bags of old car parts during trips ashore and stacked it all on the side of the road. Our next mission was to contact the truck driver that picks up large household objects destined for the dump. When we did make contact with truck driver, we explained that the trash stacked in this particular area is coming from the shoreline and that a person had dumped car parts down the hill, so the truck driver readily agreed to make a regular pick up from this area. More facts: the bottom of the Atlantic ocean is a junk yard while the Pacific has been spared. Maritime traffic in this area is on a much grander scale, between the Caribbean and the Azores islands, sea captains report meeting three garbage bags worth of trash per day, mostly light bulbs, neon tubes and all manner of colored plastic items. While captains crossing the Pacific, garbage at sea is rarely seen. When feelings overwhelm you do you heed the call? Are there other ladies and gentleman out there hearing this same call? Let's talk about it? In love, light and service Ocean Quill See more at http://popevictoria.blogspot.com