Letter: We need to work to keep Barrington Beach clean

Posted 4/19/18

To the editor:

We moved to Barrington last July and were thrilled to find ourselves a home within walking distance of the beach and excited about realizing our dream of living near the ocean

It …

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Letter: We need to work to keep Barrington Beach clean

Posted

To the editor:

We moved to Barrington last July and were thrilled to find ourselves a home within walking distance of the beach and excited about realizing our dream of living near the ocean

It was wonderful to enjoy walking on the beach, admiring beautiful sunsets. The part we hadn’t anticipated was the trash.

Our leisurely walks are now a clean-up project. When we leave the house for our walks, the checklist now includes trash bag and gloves.

Rather than looking at the sea and admiring the beauty of our environment we are looking down, picking up the countless plastics that have mostly washed up out of the ocean — plastic straws too numerous to count, bottle tops, plastic containers and bags, and a whole host of random plastic products including tampon applicators. It is quite disturbing to think of sewage waste in the ocean. Recently we collected small black circles which we discovered to be filters that were accidentally released from a treatment plant. We have spoken to a few people who have said that a lot of money has been spent on cleaning up Narragansett Bay.

We are thankful for that and are glad that improvements have been made, but it is still a work in progress that falls to everyone to be responsible.

The trash we pick up is not just washed up out of the ocean, sadly it is also the trash that has been left behind by visitors to the beach.

The most offending item being dog poop that has been bagged up and thrown to the side like that’s OK. It is not OK. Not only is the bacteria from the poop harmful to our ocean but to add another layer of waste in the form of a plastic bag is unacceptable. Discarded bottles and candy wrappers too.

There was a Save The Bay clean-up event which we were very pleased to see at the beginning of April. I can’t tell you how thankful we were to see the people there, and we are always happy to see people doing the same thing as us when we go for our walks because many hands make light work.

Each week we fill a 13-gallon trash bag and it is bursting at the seams.

We want to remind everyone to take their trash home with them and join the effort to keep the beach clean.

Previously, when we lived further inland and only went to the beach from time to time, we didn’t notice. We had heard about the problem of plastics in the ocean but didn’t realize the gravity of it until we saw it for ourselves by living here. We are glad this has been brought to the forefront of our attention and hope that we can all reconsider using those one-time plastics and think more about how we dispose of our waste.

We can all do better. Myself included. 

Sharon and David Johns

Barrington

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