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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 (259 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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