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McMullen Creek and a ‘kick in the ass’ …

I’ve mostly exited the funk that lingered after witnessing last week’s depressing scene of untold volumes of junk floating with the tide just north of Miami. It makes you wonder if things are this sordid along other stretches of the Intracoastal up and down the Eastern seaboard. The guessing here is that it is.

Closer to home this morning was the murmur of McMullen Creek, flowing along a little louder than normal after yesterday’s light rain. I couldn’t see the waters in the darkness; but there was plenty to see a couple of days ago during an early evening walk.

This bag of weekend trash does not include plastic seen, but uncollected, along the banks of McMullen Creek. One day soon you'll see a picture of that refuse sitting on my driveway.

This bag of weekend trash does not include plastic seen, but uncollected, along the banks of McMullen Creek. One day soon you’ll see a picture of that refuse sitting on my driveway.

I had stopped momentarily and in those few seconds counted 14 sheets of plastic and/or shopping bags snagged on low hanging branches along the 30 yard stretch of the 10 yard wide creek that was visible from Sharon View Road. The plastic scourge has dangled for a while, and I’m marginally guilty at not having retrieved this flotsam. This was my first semi-inventory of the debris.

There’s little doubt this scene repeats itself on virtually any stream or creek or river anywhere in the U.S. I’ve seen as much on Papio Creek in Omaha, Walnut Creek in Des Moines, the Niobrara in Nebraska’s Sand Hills, the New Fork that drains out of the Wind Rivers in Wyoming and even along the banks of the otherwise pristine Deschutes River in Oregon. Those are only five examples of how many thousands of such waterways?

One of these mornings I’m going to suck it up and wade in McMullen Creek. We’ll reduce the inventory of plastic by a few pieces. As my late father might have said, “That’s better than a kick in the ass.”

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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