News Ticker

An ocean of junk …

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.

The number of pieces of plastic spotted floating by me in five or 10 minutes was beyond count. This is so disappointing to see. So disappointing.

The number of pieces of plastic spotted floating by me in five or 10 minutes was beyond count. This is so disappointing to see. So disappointing.

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.

There may be no connection between the floating mass of debris and this dead sea bird. Perhaps there is a connection. Given the volume of junk in the water, there may well be.

There may be no connection between the floating mass of debris and this dead sea bird. Perhaps there is a connection. Given the volume of junk in the water, there may well be.

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.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: