Despite the increasing number of abandoned boats and the vast amount of Styrofoam and other unsightly and harmful garbage on our beaches, I remain optimistic for four reasons:
Firstly, the federal government has funds available for the cleanup of derelict vessels, and I am hopeful that our local politicians will apply for them for their respective areas.
Secondly, there is a federal Liberal policy resolution that calls for the ban of the marine use of unencapsulated expanded polystyrene. This is the Styrofoam that is found on our beaches and breaks down into microscopic pieces that are almost impossible to clean up.
Thirdly, the idea of an eco-tax applied to boats and docks to fund a rapid response group when a boat washes ashore, a section of a dock with Styrofoam floats breaks away, or for the general collection of plastic and nylon might appeal to an equally concerned and motivated politician, who will make it happen.
Finally, there are simply wonderful people in our town who do wonderful things, maybe without most of us noticing. I want to publicly thank Gordon Bishop, who, with the help of a local marina and old salt bags from the mill, is organizing an innovative beach cleanup from Chaster House all the way to Secret Beach. Kudos also to Donna McMahon, Gayle Neilson and many other volunteers in the Elphinstone riding who are exemplary for doing their part in their own backyard!
On a closing note, could the not-so-wonderful people who toss baggies with the excrements of their dogs into bushes and trees kindly stop!
Susanne Keller, Gibsons