November 30, 2011

Collecting plastic garbage from our waters

The children have been on a mission to collect and dispose the garbage that floats in the water around the marina. Seeing plastic trash litter the shores of pristine islands, thousands of miles from anywhere, left an impression. We might talk about the impact of consumption and pollution around the main cabin table now and again. They understand well the threat it poses to marine life and ocean health, and see our marina as a point they can intercept this junk before it is carried out to sea.

one day's haul
Here they are with a bucket full of one day's collection

We keep our kayak floating at the bow for easy access, so it's often a convenient place to toss an errant bottle found floating near the jetty.

More garbage
An overfull kayak, with the wrong kind of cargo

It accumulates at a rapid pace,especially when runoff from rainfall adds to the volume of floating trash. For a while, they kept a log of the quantity and type of garbage, plotting it against tides and weather.

Unbelievable trash in the marina
Rainfall brings plant material... and styrofoam

Siobhan found the complete packaging for an Apple computer, right down to the shipping label. I wondered what would happen if we returned it to the rightful owner?

garbage 
Box full of more styrofoam. No computer.

After a call from our neighbor Peter on s/v Kittani, Ian Kiernan came down to meet them one day. He's a former BOC sailor, and Aussie environmentalist. Dismayed by the garbage he saw floating in the world's oceans, he started a movement in Australia that earned him the the Order of Australia. The recognition by an adult outside our circle for what they've been doing meant so much to the children! That picture at the top? They're proud of what they're doing, and I think it shows. 

7 comments:

  1. Your kids are amazing. They ar making thw earth a better, cleaner place NOW, not someday. Well done Niall, Mairen and Siobhan. You are wonderful caretakers of the oceans and all that live there.

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  2. Wow that is a lot of garbage floating and also collected in your kayak. I am happy to say I have not seen that amount in our harbor. I love the lessons you are teaching your children and the lessons they are teaching us.

    PS Mairen is starting to look more like you Behan!

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  3. They should be proud - we are proud of them too. Keep up the good work!

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  4. Tell them we all appreciate their hard work and love for our beautiful oceans:) Your children are precious! ~ Barefoot Mama

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  5. The kids look great. Jesse (Frances Lee)

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  6. Desiré GraltonMay 1, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Wow Behan, I stumbled across your blog by accident and have been stuck to my computer for the past 4 hours - I couldn't go past this entry without posting a comment though, after our discussions about waste a couple of weekends ago. I'm so glad our kids grow up with an appreciation for nature - they are the future and our only hope!

    Loving your posts, all the great tips and beautiful photos - you're an inspiration!

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