2007-06-07 / Letters to the Editor

Hull Cove is the new town dump

In the summer of 2004, Rhode Island had 380 beach closings at 19 coastal beaches. Water quality plummets when it rains due to contaminated runoff from the streets or storm drain systems that feed directly into the ocean.

Two beaches that come to mind are Easton's Beach in Newport and Scarborough State beach in Narragansett.

Rhode Island may have since made some progress cleaning their water, thanks to funding from the EPA. Rhode Island, however, seems to suffer from another problem that pollutes their beaches that no Federal Aid can diminish: tourists.

Barely four days into the summer season and already Hull Cove, a shoreline public access beach in Jamestown, is playing hostess to the lucky transients who stop by and enjoy the free admittance. As the garbage, which lines the natural entrance to the beach and empty trash cans suggests, these invited guests are parents, deduced from carefully scrunched, soiled diapers, are gourmet-challenged, as seen from numerous McDonald's wrappers, cardboard sandwich containers, Dunkin Donuts plastic containers, Coke bottles, Styrofoam coffee cups, ice cream cups and numerous, soiled paper napkins all of which were purchased off the Island. Some are just plain careless. This garbage has, in a very short time, transformed a natural shoreline beach into a new town dump.

Despite the ample, town-provided trash barrels and plentiful signage requesting beach users to "Do Not Litter," these uncaring, unconcerned guests have chosen to desecrate the natural entrance to Hull Cove and pollute the ground with their trash.

Property taxes can be raised. Excessive maintenance crews can be hired. English-only signs can be conspicuously posted. Neither action can guarantee a clean, safe environment. Unless transient access to this beach is curtailed, Hull Cove will become in my opinion, the new town dump.

Cindy Mazzanti


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