Trash Bash Brings in Big Haul

By Jeff Kraus

Sebago Canoe Club proudly participated in the annual New York State Beach Cleanup on September 24th. Over the course of the day, several teams of volunteers collected man-made debris along a mile of the Paerdegat Basin shoreline. Participants included members of the CCNY Concrete Canoe Team and members and friends of SCC. All 890 pounds of trash collected in 48 garbage bags was smoothly retrieved, transported by canoe and deposited on our dock by fifteen members of Boy Scout Troops 96 and 349, ably led as always by Dan Olson. Our volunteers then carted all the trash to the dumpster after counting and weighing our collection. Our traditional leader, Mary Jo Eyster, was otherwise occupied during the planning stages so I stepped in this year for coordination. Fortunately for me, Mary Jo was present for the actual event!

The New York State Beach Cleanup has been run for 30 years by the American Littoral Society’s Northeast Chapter and is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which has grown to include participation by over 100 countries worldwide. Last year volunteers around New York State collected 125 thousand pounds of trash from 250 miles of shoreline, so our collection was almost twice the state average!

The results of the cleanup are tallied across the state to show the effects of environmental legislation such as the bottle bill, which caused a steep plunge in the number of soda cans left around. This year, over a four-hour period on one small shoreline, 31 people collected 690 food wrappers, 686 bottle caps, 306 straws, 152 yards of fishing line and 779 plastic bags. (We also retrieved 14 tampon applicators, 7 diapers, 20 condoms and one syringe, in case you were wondering. What I was wondering was whether the diaper/condom ratio reflects the birth rate…)

We also found a Toronto library card and a butterfly net with a label in French (maybe a Canadian connection?). We found a car engine, which we left for next year’s group.

Every year Sebago members prove once again that we care about the coast! The enthusiasm of every volunteer made this a fun experience for everyone. Thank you!

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