Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 2:35 PM on Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let's give back to oceans, streams

On Saturday, Aug. 27, the community was invited by two local conservation groups to participate in clearing garbage from the Anchor River and Kasilof beaches. These areas are popular fishing areas and have been identified as hosting hundreds, if not thousands, of anglers and campers over the summer months.

A total of seven dedicated people met Saturday morning to drive to these beaches with bags and gloves in hand to remove an incredible amount of garbage left on the beaches, parking areas and grass uplands. Plastic, paper, duct tape, cigarette butts, aluminum cans, glass bottles, fishing net, rope, tents, mattresses and numerous other items were removed from these areas. We successfully removed approximately 500 pounds of trash.

While walking the beach I had an epiphany. What would our beaches and oceans look like if everyone who fished or camped in these areas or who harvested their catch from this ocean came to participate in cleaning these beaches? What would our oceans look like if instead of overfishing and complaining of lack and fighting amongst each other, people came together to give back to our oceans and streams?

I believe that if this happened, our oceans and streams would thrive and be a bountiful resource for all. Not just for the humans who tend to take more than we need, but for all sentient beings who depend upon our oceans for sustenance.

And so I invite you to join us in conserving and protecting these valuable and incredibly fragile ecosystems. I encourage you to open your hearts and minds to the irreparable damage being done to our oceans and to protect them before there are no fish left to fight over.

Finally, while walking the beaches and uplands, I noticed that there were no toilet facilities for the throngs of people who visited these areas. Consequently, human excrement covered these areas. When I asked why there were no toilet facilities or garbage cans made available by either the local or state entities, I was told there was no money to provide for these facilities. How is it that the richest state in the United States of America has no money to provide Porta Potties and Dumpsters, so that people don't use the beaches as their personal toilets and garbage collection sites? It's an embarrassment and I urge borough, state and federal representatives to take action and provide these facilities, so that this sort of thing does not continue to occur.

Patricia Cue