Today was the kind of day when most people choose to go to the beach. Brutal heat, no breeze, Mondays museum are closed so unless you want to hangout in an air conditioned mall, the beach it is.
As a New Yorker, I have learned to push further then our local beaches Brighton Beach and Coney Island. In the recent years the health advisories were unsettling to say the least.
Heading to the Rockaways seemed like one’s safer and “cleaner” choice.
Or so I thought until today.
We chose our destination: Jacob Riis Beach.
Not our first time.
Jacob Riis State Park, is a seaside park at the southwestern end of the Rockaway Peninsula in the New York Cityborough of Queens.
Because the Atlantic Ocean coast marks the south end of the site, where the park’s beaches are located, there is a general assumption that the water is cleaner.
I arrived at the beach, undressed, set the towels, the umbrella, the kids toys, everyone got a drink of water and here I am, all set to finally go dip in the ocean water.
First time this season.
I had never, ever seen such a sight on a New York beach. Brighton Beach seemed clean in comparaison.
Plastic bags, straws, styrofoam cups, a 5 gallon water bottle, endless bags of chips were floating around me.
I slowly started to direct my swimming like a garbage hunt and started filling up a grocery bag with all my findings.
My son started to help me.
“We need to help Planet Earth, mama”
Other kids started to join us. A young girl, Melanie, asked if we were helping the environment. I engaged with her and she and her brother decided to help us in our hunt.
At last we filled two large bags of trash.
It seems like a drop in the ocean. But hopefully Melanie, her brother, bystanders who saw us, and you readers will make the drop grow to a larger conciscious of awareness and engaged citizens.
I know my son already is and hopefully today few more might be too.
It’s the little things…