Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yet Another Blog Action Day

"Oil wasted on the ocean, and upon our seas, fish full of mercury., oh, _ _ _ _ _, _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ( _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _)"

Hello, today is Blog Action Day. Thousands of people on the web are writing on one topic today: the environment, so thought I would start this post off with a game. Simply fill in the blanks above to name that tune.

Long Beach California is located on the Pacific Ocean. In wartime a breakwater was built to provide a safe harbor for ships. Big Navy town, Long Beach. LB is also home to oil drilling pumps. Estimates say that the oil will be depleted within the next 10 to 20 years, then look out LB. Um, maybe I should write an article for AC rather than a blog post. I am going off in 3 directions with this one!

Okay, if you have been reading my blog you will be aware that I spent most of my homeless days at the beach or Shoreline Park which also fronts the ocean. Talk about being a beach bum, but anyway...

In my homed days whenever I was not at work, I was at the beach and/or bike path, skating. I loved the beach so much I Adopted a Beach. I found out about the Adopt-a-Beach program when I participated in a Coastal Cleanup day. Part of my contract when I adopted my 1/4 mile stretch of beach was that I would educate people about the ecology or the need to care for our environment. I also had to promise to clean my beach 4 times a year.

As stated even in my homed days, I was a beach bum, and everytime I was at the beach, I cleaned up the section of the beach where I spent a few hours. It was rather hard to explain to my homeless peers why I kept cleaning up the beach (and concrete picnic table area) of debris. "People get paid to do that", they would say. Even tho' cigarette smoking on beaches was now banned, there would be a lot of butt litter and I would carry my little plastic grocery bag as I walked picking up butts, empty Frito bags, candy wrappers, dirty baby diapers and styrofoam.

All that stuff that "they get paid to clean up" often gets washed out to sea when the tide rolls in. When they do come in the morning to clean it, the stuff basically gets raked up into unsightly piles along with seaweed and driftwood. I often watch the machines seeming to comb the bits and pieces of broken plastic toy shovels, condoms, and stuff burying the bits and pieces of superballs and only picking up the larger stuff. Yuck.

One day some ladies thanked me for picking up and discarding a Jack in the Box type packaging of meal for pehaps 6, left at the edge of beach close to the ocean. I had counted how many steps it was to the trash can and the ladies and I laughed about the laziness of some people; could not take 23 steps to drop the garbage in a trash bucket, eh. Those soiled diapers are the worst. Who ever had the picnic at the beach that day also had some babies in tow. I also get comments like "that's gross" and I know I am suppossed to have on gloves when I pick up trash, but I do scrub the hands soon afterwards.

Long Beach water is a bit oily; especially at the popular Alamitos section of beach. The sand is often blackish with glittering specks of gold sprinkled throughout. Sometimes the beaches have signs warning to keep out of the water due to unhealthy bacteria levels.

Like I said, um writing an article here...

Perhaps I will take a walk today and read the permanent sign and report back which fish the fisherpeople are told contain those high levels of mercury and thou shalt not eat. The Surfrider Foundation is in a battle with Long Beach city to tear down the breakwaters. Theysay this will help to keep LB water cleaner with stuff being washed out to sea. Huh? Let us spread our debris and oil spills further out from shore? Whatever.

Game answer: "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)" by Marvin Gaye.

Postscript: I wrote blog posts on all my blogs on this topic. Neglected to copy date and blog this post came from.

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