This weekend, St. Kitts Reef Ecology Watch Group is tackling the beach and reef at Turtle Beach. We went down last weekend to check it out, and it was awful! Here are some pictures so you can see what we're dealing with!
Where does all of this trash come from? It's the shoe that your friend on the boat lost, it's the bottle cap of your water bottle that you dropped, it's the grapefruit rinds from that cruise ship's breakfast buffet, it's that styrofoam food container that blew away.... Who knows? It comes from all over and from so many different places.
Can we keep up with the trash? Honestly, no. Change has to come from a different place. We'll clean this beach Saturday, but the tides will bring in more garbage next week. Our job has no end in sight.
Should we despair? Just throw up our hands and give up? No! Because cleaning the beaches raises our own awareness. With each piece of trash we pick up, we are participating with the health of our planet, and that's a really neat thing. With each bottle cap and chunk of styrofoam, we think about the materials we use in our daily lives and where they end up. That's big time stuff!
Also, cleaning the beaches makes the area nicer for the critters that live there, whether they be reef fish or turtles or water birds or mongoose. Those critters can get really sick when they ingest this junk, and for those of us that eat meat, this stuff you see on the beach becomes part of the food chain. Gross!
So what we're doing might seem like an exercise in futility, but it's an exercise we have to do!