This is post five on my Igniting a Revolution Series.
As part of my series I will be sharing my thoughts on behavior that needs to be replicated locally in Puerto Rico to improve the overall well being of those who visit and live on the island.
Walking on the beach every morning relaxes me and gives me the opportunity to start my day in a good mood.
I decided to move near the beach because the ocean has always been able to calm my mind.
One of the downsides of my morning walks is realizing how much beach visitors from Puerto Rico and tourists don’t care about cleaning up after themselves.
As I walk in the morning, I usually find all types of trash. Thankfully the municipality of Carolina has some great cleaning crews that arrive early in the morning.
The biggest issue is people leave trash on the beach from 3-6 pm. Anything left on the beach usually ends up in the water and other areas along the coast because of the wind.
Coastal Clean Up Day
A couple Saturdays ago while eating breakfast from my balcony, I realized groups of people forming up getting ready to be part of Coastal Clean Up Day.
This quickly brought a smile to my face and seconds later I saw Carolina City Cops where handing out parking tickets to the same people that where taking their Saturday off to clean up the beach.
It bothered me a bit because I always see how cops never give a fine to those who litter the beach. Those that came to clean up after the polluters where getting traffic citations. I do understand those people parked illegally and the cops where doing their job, but this could have been a great opportunity for the city to provide free parking to anyone taking time to clean the beach.
Making Things Easier
When good behavior happens I think government officials should be there to facilitate; maybe closing down the street to provide parking to those doing a good deed.
Once the cars where moved everyone rallied up to get instructions on how they would collectively clean the beach.
Conrado Abruña who was in charge of the Alambique beach clean up clearly gave instructions and everyone was ready to start working.
Lucy, my other half, decided we should join the group and help them clean since after all they where sort of cleaning our backyard.
We got bags and gloves and started to clean up a certain area of the beach. Our tactic was to make sure we grabbed the smaller pieces of trash (cigarette butts, which are usually left behind by the company cleaning the beach.
While cleaning I had the opportunity to learn about a few organizations led by the Scuba Dogs who were cleaning up the beach.
The Children of Veterans Cleaning up the Beach
I had the opportunity to speak to Delia Barea a Civilian working with the Puerto Rico National Guard who was in charge of 27 young men and women from the Child and Youth Program. Delia explained that they where on a Yellow Ribbon event given that the group of youth and children are the sons and daughter of Combat Veterans that just arrived from serving overseas in places such as Afghanistan.
What better inspiration than seeing the children of those who make the ultimate sacrifice as Service Members cleaning up the beach. If they can pick up after others why can’t we all do the same.
I have a close connection with the Army and Puerto Rico National Guard. I served in the Army and Army Reserve for 8.5 years and my uncle Lt. Colónel (RET) Reynaldo Rosado served 35+ years in the Puerto Rico National Guard (PRNG).
On that morning I learned so much that I decided I would have to create multiple posts on the event.
I will follow up with a post on what we found and how I think we could improving the beaches situation.
I will also share a quick interview I did thanks to Conrado Abruña giving us the time on his busy day to explain a bit more about Global Coastal Clean Up day.
If only we could find more reasons to get people to clean up after themselves and every once in a while get a group of people to clean the beach.
Quick List of Items we Found