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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 12:39 am | Fog/Mist 49º


Captain’s Log: Marine Debris Begins Ashore

Wish list includes ideas for helping keep our ocean and waterways clean

I need to borrow your shoulder.

Capt. David Bacon
Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)

Know what bugs me? It’s all the trash floating around the ocean after the first rains of the season. We all — or at least most of us — claim to care about the ocean and support efforts to heal the ocean. Some even turn out for beach cleanup days.

But an alarming number of people don’t seem to piece together the damage to the sea, the shoreline and the critters from the unthinking and uncaring act of tossing trash.

The other day I saw a man tossing his pile of yard debris into Mission Creek. Sure, plenty of leaves fall naturally into the watershed, but he shouldn’t have added to the accumulation instead of bagging his leaves and yard debris (which looked to include some rubbish).

I spot trash tossed nearly everywhere. What really worries me is what I can’t see, such as the pesticides, herbicides and other scary ‘cides. It all damages the ocean.

We can have cleanup days and organizations such as my SOFTIN Inc. can use volunteers to help with the debris problem, but we are not winning this important battle to help Ma Nature.

Below is my wish list. Can you add to it? If so, please offer a comment.

My Wish List

» Stop dumping debris into our creek beds.

» Use less pesticides, herbicides, etc., and never pour out any excess.

» Homeless campers leave their campsites clean.

» More trash/recycle cans throughout our town to make it easier to discard stuff.

» Larger campaigns for creek cleanup (we have many great creeks in our community).

» A public awareness campaign to keep the problem on our social radar.

» Expand “community service” cleanup efforts from roadsides to creeks and canyons.

» Create financial incentives, perhaps including supervised programs for homeless and low-income folks — who are already providing a valuable service by picking up sellable recyclables — to pick up and turn in roadside and creekside debris they find while they work and travel.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

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