2012-04-26 / Letters to the Editor

Earth Day cleanup bags 2,600 pounds of trash

The Jamestown Conservation Commission would like to express our appreciation for all those who made our annual Earth Day Island Shoreline Cleanup a success Saturday. We transported 2,600 pounds of trash from our shoreline into the dumpster, donated by Island Rubbish.

We are making a difference. Each year we gather tons of trash but it takes up less space and does not weigh as much. In years past we needed Chuck Gladding to mash down the stuff we got with his backhoe just to get it all in the dumpster. Now the bits are smaller and have not been around as long. Yet all of it is still twice touched: once by the hand that left it, and on Saturday, by the hand that picked it up. Someday these hands will meet each other.

Earth Day was as ever a collaborative effort. We thank Bill Piva and the town for allowing us to use the recreation center as a rallying point, Slice of Heaven for getting us started with coffee and muffins, and everyone who gave up their Saturday morning to clean our island’s shoreline.

We thank those volunteers who used their personal vehicles for hauling the bagged litter to East Ferry, and the Conanicut Island Land Trust for serving lunch, which was provided by Heather and Don Minto of Watson Farm, and Martha and George Neale of Windmist Farm.

Finally we would like to thank the Jamestown Arts Center and the teen center for making up signs, and the Jamestown Press for getting the word out.

It is our hope that all Jamestown residents and visitors alike will enjoy our public shoreline-access areas in the upcoming months and not find trash everywhere they look – at least for a while. Our oceans sustain us and are sadly the principal repositories of our trash. More a conveyer belt than bottomless pit, they serve up our waste to creatures both great and small, and make our coastlines into a showcase for all the things we discard that never go away.

The message in the bottle: We need to better manage our footprint in this world. In the meantime, let us band together on Earth Day and gather up the litter that finds its way to our island home each year.

Patrick Driscoll and Michael Brown

Conservation Commission

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