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Journa-litter-ature

Journa-litter-ature

December 2019 · 3 min read

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image captured by my girl @audiefaith in Coos Bay, Oregon.

I want you to imagine that you are walking on a coastal trail, enjoying the sunshine, listening to the powerful waves crash upon the shoreline, of the Pacific Ocean. You can smell the salty, ocean spray as the water fires, like geysers, high upon the rocky shore. It is late in the evening and it is quiet, tranquil. You round a bend in the trail, coming out onto a bluff, and as you look out into the sunset, your senses are filled with the smell of the ocean as the wind in your face causes you to squint.

There, in the presence of such beauty, is one small tree. It's branches are gnarled and it's body twisted and scarred from the nautical storms that it has survived. As it sits, silhouetted against the sunset, it's green parts quake with each gust of cool, ocean air. As you begin to take in it's beauty, your attention is veered to something that seems out of place. It flaps, parasitically, grasping onto a tree branch and not letting go. It is lifeless. It is ugly.

This parasite, is a lifeless killer. It has never been alive (except when it was, also, plant-life, thousands of years ago.) It is also responsible for the death of a staggering number of nautical creatures. As you get closer to the object, it becomes apparent, that it has words, printed on it's lifeless body. As you make out the words, you realize that this parasite is branded with the name of your favorite grocery store. On the first of the month, maybe, even you, held a few of these in your own hand. When you went to grocery shop and feed your family, maybe someone asked you, "Paper or plastic?"

On each kilometer of ocean, are 18,000+ pieces of plastic trash. This plastic litter does not break down quickly. Most of this waste sticks around for a minimum of 50 years. Some, will not break down for half of a millennium.

Here is a picture of an anti-littering rally in Coos Bay, Oregon, where we live.

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image from surfrider.org

Today, is a good day, for sea-life. My girlfriend just walked out of a Ray's in Gold Beach, Oregon on the Pacific coast and told me that the cashier had asked her that common question. "Paper or plastic?" Right afterwards, he went on to say, "I'm so glad I won't have to ever ask that question again, after next week."

Beautiful Bay off the Pacific Ocean

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photograph taken by my girlfriend @audiefaith

Oregon, is now the second state in the U.S. to pass a law, banning plastic bags. One small step for the U.S. Senate, One giant leap for sea life on the Pacific Ocean. The state of California has already passed a ban on plastic bags. Oregon, passed the same law on June 20th and it will become active next week. I hope that Washington is next.

So cheers to keeping Spongebob and friends healthy! Have a great day and hooray for Free Willy! :D

-Article by Jonathan Caleb Williams @badseedalchemist

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