I’m sitting, stunned and dejected, on a dock on Atlantic Avenue north of Miami waiting to launch my fishing kayak in the Intracoastal waterway.
A few feet away from me is everything I have feared about unconstrained trash.
Swept along on the outgoing tide a scant couple of yards in front of me are hundreds of pieces of trash: bottle caps, plastic shopping bags, polystyrene cups or parts of same, beer cans and soda pop bottles, Gatorade bottles, plastic plates and utensils, chunks of plastic from objects unknown, a past edition of some newspaper, empty quarts of oil, cigarette packs by the dozens, plastic cigar butts, drinking straws, a waterlogged orange life jacket and, finally and so symbolic of our slovenliness, the carcass of a dead sea bird. Some of this embarrassing mass lodges up against boats at our pier. A good portion of it is just below the surface – in the prime eating zone for fish.
The next stop for this oceanic tsunami of junk is an open outlet to the sea about 900 yards away.
This sickens me to my core. My heart aches at the sight of such an enormity. And the volume in this flotilla is only a few minutes worth of what is an endless parade of shit floating by on one single day out of 52 weeks of days.
And you wonder why I roam the streets to reclaim the very things I see floating beyond capture in these otherwise clear waters. If anything, this only strengthens my resolve to make sure the crap along my path does not make this same tragic journey to the sea.