Lanphere Refuge Refuse: At Least 100 Black Garbage Bags Heaped on the Foredunes, Says Letter to the Editor
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Normally a jaunt down the beach involves such pleasures as watching the multitudes of migrating shore birds, looking out for whales and dolphins, greeting dog walkers and fishermen, families and children, breathing in the fresh ocean air and seeing what the Pacific has washed up on the shore. However, last week as we ventured north toward Lanphere Wildlife Refuge we started to see piles and piles of black garbage bags heaped on the foredunes. It looked like they had been there for quite a while and had begun degrading in the sun and salt air. Some had fallen onto the wave slope, some buried with sand.
The further north we went the more bags we saw. We counted at least 100 before we turned around. There may be many more that we couldn’t see from the beach. We considered taking some of them back with us to dispose of them properly, but they were full of plants. Maybe poisoned plants.
Two years ago, Lanphere Refuge manager Andrea Pickart and the Fish and Wildlife Service had sprayed the cancer-causing herbicide glysophate on dune plants without any public notice whatsoever. The plants were then stuffed in plastic bags and left for months in this very same area. Had they done it again? History tells us they would rather we didn’t know.
The hypocrisy is that this same public agency that leaves degrading plastic garbage bags filled with poisoned plants for months on public land also sponsors beach clean-up days.