We truly had a wonderful day this World’s Ocean Day! We kicked off the walk in Exchange Place at 830am – following a couple of talks and highlights on the importance of the day. Afterall, we are on the Hudson River – that connects right into the Atlantic Ocean less than a mile downstream – we are the gatekeepers to the ocean. Making sure that we have clean waters means that our future generations around the planet will continue to have clean water, seafood and Ocean. Happy World Ocean’s Day – think of your connection as you walk along the Hudson today! And the walk was on it’s way.
Our cleanups were the highlights of our day – the weather was just perfect to be on the beach, the breeze both gentle and strong enough to keep the sun’s heat at bay. With all our enthusiasm we were able to tackle and cleanup Caven Point and the Boat Launch in Liberty State Park – to the point that a geese family came to participate with us along the way and even say thank you on the boardwalk as we were leaving. What we found were many cigarette butts – hundreds of them, with the filters. Even the Juul cartridges – already, showing up on the beaches. Seems to be so preventable. Lots of syringes and tampon applicators – said to be due to old storm drain and waste water management systems that are still being used along the Hudson. Bags and styrofoam pieces were noticeable, along with many straws. Dead crabs or their shells lined up a big area of this sealed off beach for the season. It requires a special permit as not to disturb the crabs and nesting birds during the summer.
We found balloons that looked like deflated remnants of joy that now were sitting on the beach waiting to be picked up by an unsuspecting bird. Instead we were the lucky finders and disposed of them properly.
We were joined by both Mrs New Jersey Earth and Miss New Jersey Earth 2019 – wow – if anybody wants to see what NJ girls are made of – you have to join the next cleanups! They were both busy at work under the sun, the entire time! Mrs. New Jersey Earth focused on Caven Point – look at how full her bag is! 🙂 Miss NJ Earth tackled one of the beaches so enthusiastically that it was inspiring to those passing by the boat launches! More and more people began to pick-up stuff from the beach and even coming back tired from the other beach, many of us stopped by and joined in on the fun she was having there! By the time she got through to the end, there was practically nothing that was left that could be picked-up by our hands or the Grabber. What a difference we each can make!
We talked about how these things ended up on the beach, and how we were all aware to say “no straw” now, and how “old school” straws are. It was likened to smoking – the same way people stopped smoking once they made the connection to health implications, it’s now the same thing with plastics – especially single use ones. If everybody can see that each of these pieces of plastic touched one of our hands before ending up here, the connection becomes easier. Why not reach for something that is reusable – it’s cheaper in the long run. You don’t need to throw stuff away, and you’re keeping yourself healthier!
It was the first time that our group was using the Garbo Grabber set of products – purely genius! You never have to lean over, squat down or touch anything – the grabber does all of it, and because the top of the collector is always open, you just drop it right into your bag. The handle bar on the top and the easy round shape make it easy to hold and carry without feeling any weight or awkward posture. It is absolutely 100% awesomeness! You can see everything you collect! Everybody who took one just got very enthusiastic about picking up the trash away from our waterways! It just adds a component of fun and makes it really easy to do.
We had plenty of discussions around what we were finding. Why were there so many plastic cigarette filters? We questioned the disconnect – what makes us say it’s ok to hand-out plastic disposable water bottles at events, instead of bringing our own when we say we truly believe in keeping our waterways clean? We found empowerment and hope to be two important concepts. Most can be feeling like they don’t have any power over what happens with the ocean – it is so vast, and so “distant.” Why would what I do make any difference? And hope that there is solution and we all are a part of it. We’re all required to make the difference we are looking to make – to stop the plastics from entering our Ocean in the first place.
And then there was a little boy – who was so very concerned to “Take Care of The Planet” no more words are necessary. He’s a tiny full package. It’s always so hopeful and inspiring to see how the future generations understand from such a young age. Imagine that he wont even be 40 in 2050 – when we’d end up with more plastic than fish in the ocean if we continued our consumption at the same rate we are today. It makes it more real and more relevant to all of us, especially him. At a young age they have the power to make the change and they are taking it on! We are joining him. #wereallinthistogether and you’re part of us!
Thank you to all of our partners to making this day possible and a success! We can’t wait to have more and bigger events together in the near future! Ohh the possibilities! 🙂