Pollution From Plastic Threatens Beach
This is an ocean planet. On Vancouver Island we have been blessed with the bounty from the ocean. Oysters lay on the clean beaches. Children play on the sandy beaches in the summer. Dog walkers have interesting places to roam. The beauty is free for all. Shorebirds are abundant. River otters make their living here, catching small fish. Crabs and other invertebrates make a good living under and on the rocks.
Pollution from plastics threatens the beauty and life of our sea shores. A quiet walk at low tide on the east coast of Vancouver Island reveals many pieces of plastic washed ashore. It’s not just the massive garbage gyres in the Pacific that we need to worry about. Careless people tossing plastic water bottles overboard wash up on our inland shores. That plastic wrap left over from a picnic lunch will blow away and lodge in the driftwood, perhaps to be eaten by a passing gull. Styrofoam washed up in chunks breaks down to form plastic “sand” which can be mistaken for food by shorebirds.
There is other garbage that comes in with the tide, but eventually the broken glass becomes rounded and worn. The old logging cables rust and return to the earth. Plastics are nearly forever and in the meantime cause much mischief. The oceans and their shores belong to all of us. It is incumbent on us all to look after them. Pack your picnic leavings home. If you are a boater, be vigilant about what goes overboard. Next time you come to the beach think about bringing a bag and picking up some plastic garbage. It's better in a landfill than on the beach.