It seems as if every urban cleanup these days involves dragging a shopping cart out of the muck and ours was certainly no different.
The Living Oceans Foundation headquarters sits right beside a small wetland a stone’s throw from the Washington DC beltway, one of the busiest roads in America. And, like many other urban waterways, it is full of trash or, at least it was until last week when the Foundation cleaned it up.
The streams and rivers in this corner of the US drain into the Chesapeake Bay and then flow into the ocean beyond. So cleaning up local pollution is a great first step towards cleaner seas and a healthy ocean environment. For our urban cleanup we partnered with the Alice Ferguson Foundation and between them, our own staff, and some volunteers from our local printer we formed a small but dedicated band of trash collectors.
In just a few short hours we managed to amass an amazing amount of garbage. We collected bags upon bags of discarded plastic bottles and cans, glass bottles, plastic bags, and all kinds of other trash that gets carelessly littered. We also cleaned up one carpet, two towels, five tires, two TV’s, seven basketballs and, of course, one three-wheeled shopping cart.
Letter from the Executive Director
“To My Great Staff: With all that you do to conserve the coral reefs, I’m surprised at the pride and admiration I feel for the urban cleanup of our tiny wetland. After being disgusted with the trash around here for 9 years, you demonstrated the guts to get out there and do something about it. Thanks so much for making the effort and doing such an amazing clean-up job. You defeated the shifting baseline phenomena by raising the bar back to where it should be. Nicely Done!!! Phil”
Photos 1, 2 by Alison Barrat, 3, Katie Thatcher