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Monday, April 18, 2011

Earth Week Begins

This week is Earth Week and April 22nd is Earth Day. 

There are many things to note, many to celebrate and many things that can bring you down if you let them.

We will highlight some of those things this week and try to find a path to the light at the end of this week. Barring any local disasters, we'll find some hope for our environment. 

Hang in there Shoreline Area. Don't give up hope even though that is sometimes tempting. Things may seem bleak at times in the rainy spring of 2011 and in the middle of the "so-called" economic recovery.

But, if you look at things in the right light you can find rays of sunshine!
Bright Morning Sunshine Across Paramount Park
ph credit-Janet Way
For starters for Earthweek, here is a fascinating story in Pacific NW Magazine of Seattle Times, of a guy who just keep plodding along on the Duwamish River in what seems like a thankless and impossible up a century of pollution. But is he discouraged? No? He just keeps picking up trash every day.

Reclaiming the Duwamish River

Mostly to satisfy his own obsession, West Seattle sailor Neal Chism has made almost 90 trips down the Duwamish in 2-1/2 years, trying to rid its banks of debris.
Neal Chism uses his homemade grabby tool to pull trash out of the Duwamish,
a task he has set for himself and repeats week after week,
cleaning the same places over and over, for free.
Overall cleanup of the river will require an
abundance of persistence.

photographed by Tom Reese
THE GARBAGE man needs another tool.
He stands in a parking lot at the southern tip of Harbor Island, gazing at the muddy Duwamish River below. Even before shoving off to find the trashiest spots on our dirtiest waterway, Neal Chism already packs quite a load. He's tucked five empty black trash bags into his waistband. On his chest he wears a personal flotation device. In one hand he holds a five-gallon bucket. In the other he's wedged the day's most important weapon: a pair of pincers attached to a shaft of wood — a homemade trash picker-upper.
But Chism has made this journey so often he can sense he's missing something. He hovers in a square of sun for a minute, then pops the hatch on the white Rav4 he calls Snowball. He pulls out a red medical-waste container and carts it by the handle like it was a child's lunch box.
"Almost forgot," he says, rattling it with a grin. "For the syringes."
Ten years into a massive federally directed cleanup effort on the Duwamish, it's hard to ignore that progress has been made. Fresh grass and picnic tables sprout from waterfront parks. Ospreys are back, and their fish diets contain fewer pollutants. Boeing last year settled a long-fought suit with the federal government and agreed to create new wetlands. Contractors are ripping out a World War II-era warehouse that leached poisonous solvents where workers built B-17s.

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