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Conspicuous in their absence – campaign thoughts on the environment … dredging deep sixes marine life … and the old dog is slapped upside the head

Okay, I’m not remembering any substantial presidential campaign rhetoric on the environment.

Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps too much less-than-civilized blather/hyperbole/misrepresentation have caused people to turn a deaf ear to the candidates. If the candidates have made environmental statements, I’ve missed them completely.

Still, the environmental back story resides in the platforms of the parties. I’ve poked and prodded both and have distilled the key points to a few key points:

Here’s what the Democratic platform proffers in four pages (the shortest section of any platform topic):

  • Combat Climate Change,
  • Build a Clean Energy Economy,
  • and Secure Environmental Justice

As for the Republicans, their narrative style platform rails against job-killing ‘regulations’ particularly as those relate to the EPA, contains a pledge to finish the Keystone Pipeline, holds that natural resources have been best protected by private ownership, rejects the notion of climate change and global warming, wants the ‘war on coal’ to cease and demands federal lands be turned over to states.

It’s no surprise I tend to fall on the Democratic side. The Republicans are simply not in step with scientists (including those from NASA and the Department of Defense) on the very pressing problem of climate change. It’s already being felt (we are in the midst of the longest continuous stretch of warmest months ever) and their collective GOP heads are in the sand up to their shoulders, if not further. It should cost them votes and ought to.

Yet I’d like to see Hillary and The Donald both spend some debate minutes on the environment. Leave the slings and arrows on the dais and have a civil discourse on an issue all of humanity is paying more and more attention to. Heaven forbid we’d ever take a leadership position.

All that dredging for sand near Charleston to improve your beach experience? It has caused long term harm to organisms that sea creatures depend on.

Tiny bugs, shellfish and worms have not returned to the sea floor nearly eight years after their native sand was dredged and piped to Folly Beach as a stopgap against beach erosion.

The disappearance is, according to a report published by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, tied to the dredging which leaves mud in place of the sand the creatures depended on. In turn, the state said the loss of tiny life – some no bigger than a grain of sand – disrupts the ocean’s food chain. Crabs and fish which feed on the small creatures may not return.

As reported by the (Columbia) State the revelation of barren sea floors “could be a concern to recreational and commercial anglers.”


Miss Emma and I may miss out on fish if there are fewer redfish and sea trout coming in to tidal creeks where we paddle near Folly Beach.

That includes hapless fishermen like me who lug our sea kayaks to nearby Bowens Island. My sport fishing could be impacted if redfish and sea trout don’t venture into the tidal creeks on the incoming tides.

My self interest has me watching this closely.

My friend Sherry learns me a thing or two – or three – about picking up trash.

Okay, okay. Mr. Uppity-Self-Righteous-Know-It-All got a stern lesson in total litter and trash pick up the other evening.

My friend and stalwart trash-picker upper Sherry joined me for my late-day walk and there was nothing – nothing – she would not stoop to pick up. Minuscule scraps of paper in advanced decomposition that I’d seen for weeks and let lay were fair game for her.


Sherry done slapped me upside the head, figuratively speaking. She finagled a pledge that I’ll do better.

She picked up everything – two bags worth. She alternated between chastising/ridiculing me for overlooking junk. It was nothing less than an ass kicking – but for a good cause, of course. I got my comeuppance and will change my evil ways thusly.

About Dave Bradley (264 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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