The Rising Plastic Tide

This was the kind of winter in northwestern Vermont where Lake Champlain froze deeply, from shore to shore. And several times this winter I took advantage of that heavy ice cover to take long walks just offshore, gaining the perspective that one can only gain by boat in warmer months.

The winter lake is eerily deserted. Ice fisherman congregate in some of the bays, but for the most part it is “beautiful desolation” as one Apollo astronaut once described the surface of the moon. The sound of waves and lapping water is replaced with the ominous groans, cracks and booms from the ice as it slowly shifts and expands and presses relentlessly against the shore.

It is along these shores, at the land/sea interface, where we see the sad evidence of the carelessness with which we treat our waterways. One does not have to walk far along any shoreline, in any season, to find plastic trash of every description; plastic bottles, cups, toys, coolers, bits and chunks of foam, etc., etc. It reminded me that despite yearly green-up days and beach clean-ups, our efforts can’t always keep up with the rising tide of plastic. In streams, rivers, lakes and oceans, plastic is everywhere.

But I’m also reminded that there are good people in active organizations who are taking action to stem this tide of trash. Real and effective action. I’ll continue to do what I can to help with shoreline clean-ups, but I think just as importantly, I will continue to support the organizations that have dedicated themselves to finding solutions to the problem. The Rozalia Project is one of these groups I have supported and with whom I have worked over the years. In a later post I’ll get into more detail about why I support them. But in the meantime I invite you to think about what action you might take to help stem the plastic tide.

Photo Credit: The Rozalia Project


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