New Year Coastal Cleanse
Amid the thousands of pieces of plastic, I found the smaller of these two gorgeous caterpillars had fallen so I put him back up in hopes he would thrive like his larger friend.
As you clean up the plastic debris, they ask you to record data so they can aggregate data about the proportions of trash that get found. Large quantitites of cigarette-related stuff and plastic in all forms, shapes and sizes are the overwhelming pollutants. We also found a hypodermic needle (they don't allow volunteers to pick them up, they get handled by people with special gear). To me, it seemed that gathering data about plastic pollutants in order to support the creation of prohibitive legislation was an ok goal. To deal with the source of the problem, government and non-profits would be better off instead working to deal with the root causes I could see for all that we were finding: homelessness, drug addiction, poverty and the growing inaccessibility of higher education to the poor (who may not know how their actions affect wildlife and habitat).
|San Francisco in the distance behind the "Dirt Hotel" area|