Litter is an issue commonly overlooked. People have a host of justification for littler: it’s just one piece, there’s already litter in the area, and I don’t want to be stuck caring trash – all invalid reasons to pollute the environment. The litter issue is currently affecting Rocky Point, but ironically enough, the culprits are also the area’s saviors.
The concept of personal park ownership must be understood to preserve well-loved beaches; that is, the idea that this is everyone’s beach and everyone must chip in to preserve its beauty. No matter how easy it is to leave trash on the beach, the fact remains it will impact you in the long run. It’s intentional that Rocky Point doesn’t supply cleanup crews to take care of beaches, because if it were simply left up to the city trash could abound. It’s viewed more effective to leave people to be responsible for their own output, where if they fail to be clean then their beach will suffer in turn. Lisa Primiano has seen success with this method, but Rocky Point is still developing its integrity in regards to waste.
The Ethics of Litter
The reasons litter is harmful must be understood, on a global level reason abound and even with a focus on Rocky Point there is still a long list. To start, it’s ugly to have trash on the beach. Sure it will be covered up with time and buried, but nobody wants to dig into the sand to find a napkin or old food packet left behind. More importantly, litter can destroy the life which makes the beach so significant. Consider the marine life which can be impacted by trash; fish can get caught and die in waste discarded in the water and beach creatures like turtles can’t sustain a diet of trash and people food. Carried to the extreme and coupled with time, wondrous beaches can become wastelands.
There’s only one joy in discovering litter, and that’s the artifacts it leaves behind. It’s the feeling of finding an arrowhead in your backyard of finding an early Jefferson nickel, you feel connected to the past. Of course, this model is not sustainable and cannot be encouraged. The amount of pure waste would be overwhelming compared to that of valuable future treasures, and additionally, this can be dangerous in a trafficked area. A historic bottle can lead to horrible cuts and what might be a fun trinket from 20 years ago could pose a choking hazard to children or be mistaken for food to beach critters. The rare case of an artifact must be allowed to occur naturally, free of neglect.
FMI Wants to Ensure Rocky Point is Beautiful for Years to Come
It should be clear that it’s important to be responsible while on the beach. Beaches can feel like a home away from home, and they should be treated with the same care as a home. Luckily the beaches of Rocky Point aren’t beyond a state of repair, but they will require a bit of effort from all visitors to be pristine. You can be a hero in small ways be working to reduce litter and picking up things that don’t belong; future generations will thank you.