Small Acts

Yesterday the kids and I went to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. It was overcast and windy with intermittent light rain showers, perfect hiking weather in south Florida. The kids were more interested in getting to the beach but acquiesced to a short hike. We wandered around the small native butterfly garden then set out for the boardwalk leading to the viewing area.

This is in the middle of the Treasure Coast between the intensely developed Intracoastal Waterway and the intensely developed Atlantic coast. Here, you can't see a building anywhere. It's unbelievably quiet and peaceful.

Then we headed over to Treasure Shores Beach Park, right across A1A. The kids immediately headed for the water to play in the surf and I went for a walk. I walked a mile or so and then doubled back to the kids, then a mile or so in the other direction. I found all sorts of interesting critters, picked up a few seashells, and saw a hell of a lot of trash.

Just walking along and saw this crab, about the size of my fist, camouflaged perfectly by this pile of seaweed. I looked at every pile of seaweed for the rest of my walk and never saw another crab.

So before we left, the kids and I spent a few minutes and filled a plastic grocery bag with trash. Now I am not going to give you a diatribe about how much trash there was. All of the trash I saw was washed up on the beach from the ocean, tangled in seaweed, not litter left by beachgoers. I just have to wonder how much difference it would make if each family visiting the beach would leave with one small plastic grocery bag filled with trash?

One guy snoozing in a chair watched me collecting trash and said "Good for you!" I just smiled and nodded at him, but I hope everyone who watched me and the kids pick up trash did the same.

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