Littering is no small crime       

Warwick Beacon Online

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 

Letters To the Editor: Written by COLLINS, SYLVIA    


On the morning of April 14, volunteers from around the Warwick area attended the annual Buckeye Brook Annual Cleanup. I truly thank all who worked at this cleanup and for the wonderful job that you accomplished.


Buckeye Brook is an exceptionally important tributary to the bay, supporting what may be the largest natural-flow native herring run in the state. The brook is self-sustaining and unique, having no fish ladders or passage system to aid the herring in their migration between the sea and Warwick Lake at spawning time. Its salt marsh plays a vital role as a natural filtration system and vegetative buffer for Narragansett Bay. It is also spawning ground for shrimp and many other smaller bay inhabitants. Shorebirds feed off the fish, worms, crabs and clams in this rich habitat.


However, the yearly Buckeye Brook cleanup is necessary because of the excessive littering which goes on in the areas surrounding the brook. I realize that littering is a common problem throughout the state. However, it troubles me that some people use these beautiful areas around the brook as a littering ground for their soda cans, beer cans, liquor bottles, snack wrappers, foam cups, boxes, used baby diapers and sundry other pieces of garbage which they nonchalantly toss out of their cars as they pass by. Did I forget anything? Yes, I'm sure I have, like those little plastic things that birds can choke on.


So why do people litter? The advantage to littering is clear: get rid of trash quickly. But it doesn't stop there. Littering is letting go of responsibility. On a daily basis, littering is quite simply the easiest, least dangerous and most convenient way to break the law. I suppose that, in view of the state of the world, my concern may seem trivial. However, I do firmly believe that the little things in life, such as the preservation and beauty of our environment and how it affects our happiness and well-being, are of great importance. Our surroundings are something which we live with and perceive on a daily basis, in spite of more dire happenings in our lives, and the lives of others. Ultimately, it is truly an obnoxious practice, not to mention illegal, for those who litter to run amuck with their trash. And, it seems to me that the accumulation continues to grow. It truly comes down to laziness, disrespect for others and immaturity on the parts of many. If this is you, please think carefully the next time you decide to toss something out the window of your car, as it does create an accumulative effect on our total environment and the lives of others.