Sunday was the day for the statewide Coastal Cleanup. As many of you know, Nichole and I have been volunteering for the Eliot Cutler campaign, and through the campaign we signed up to take part in Coastal Cleanup Day. Our area was determined to be Back Cove in Portland, which worked out perfectly considering we had a soccer game right there a little later in the morning. We arrive as everyone is dispersing to their respective area around Back Cove, collect our trash bags and rubber gloves and dig right in.
Now, I've done this sort of thing before, and no, it wasn't for mandatory community service or because I was wearing a jump suit. Back in high school I did this fairly regularly with different organizations in town. This time was a little different than the others. Kerrigan was with us, which was a good experience for her, although, she used it mostly as a chance to collect some shells, cool rocks and de-leg some dead crabs she found. It was a bit of an eye opener for Nichole and I as well. I learned a few things about people by picking up trash and other items...
People have no problem throwing their trash out their car window!
People eat a lot of Little Debbie snacks!
A ton of people actually smoke on Back Bay?!
I can't tell you how many snack wrappers we found, it was crazy! The most popular Little Debbie snack appears to be Star Crunch, surprisingly enough. I didn't see that coming, but according to what y'all toss out your window or sneakily snack on as you walk Back Cove, it's very true. There were also a ton of Hannaford and CVS receipts. The former made sense, being right there, but the latter surprised me a little, based on how far away it is. Speaking of Hannaford, we also found a good number of the Great Grocery Giveaway scratch tickets they handed out this summer. You know what I'm talking about, those little scratch ticket like thingamabobs that were impossible to win on. I kid you not, we scratched off 50 one days and one $1. One freaking dollar!
Some other things I found were two hypodermic needles. Now, I'm going to assume they were for insulin purposes, not for something else, but I wish those using them could find a better place for them. I'm not sure tossing them onto the ground is the best answer. We found a couple of, what appeared to be, used condoms. Now, let me tell you something, it was every bit as gross as you would imagine. I'm not sure if they were, in fact, used, but they were rolled out and stuck to rocks, which was just awesome. Note to the person having sex on the Back Cove, please don't. I mean, good job wrapping it up, but could you not go to your apartment, or even stay in your car? I don't want to have to pick up your dried up swimmers again, not cool! Now, maybe it was the same people, but I also found 3 pairs of pants, a shirt and a pair of socks, right nearby. Perhaps they are all connected, perhaps not. Either way, who loses their pants? To the people or person who went streaking at Back Cove, I found your missing clothes.
Like I said, this was an eye opening experience. I was surprised at the amount of trash, and what made it up. For an area that is known for it's running trails and soccer field, it was shocking to find that many snack wrappers and ciggy butts. People need to be more aware of where they are putting their garbage. I would be more than happy to take part in this great event every year, but I would love it if this sort of event wasn't necessary. Please, just take a second to toss things into a garbage can, or keep a bag in your car to put trash in, it's pretty easy. Oh, and to the kind person who didn't clean up your dog's shit, thanks, as if my shoes didn't smell bad enough already! I'm just saying...