Trash on the Beach: A Growing Problem
Hampton Beach Village District
- Part 5 -
Atlantic News, Friday, September 14, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
(Editor's Note: This is the fifth and last of a series of articles provided by members of the "Precinct Pen" Newsletter Committee of the Hampton Beach Village District.)
HAMPTON -- During our long history as a resort community, visitors and residents come to enjoy our beaches, ocean and entertainment.
Recently, many people have commented on the growing problem of trash left on the beach. A woman that came for the first time to Hampton Beach to see the sand sculptures wrote a letter to a local newspaper stating, "The trash on the beach is an embarrassment to New Hampshire citizens. The people who live here should care about how the town presents itself."
After Memorial Day Weekend, a member from the Blue Ocean Society said the beach looked as if "a dump had exploded" because of the amount of litter scattered along the beach.
There is no denial: Trash is a growing problem. As a community we do care about our beach. Many local groups have volunteered to clean up different sections of Hampton Beach. A few new signs have gone up along the boardwalk reminding visitors to dispose of their trash properly. Brian Warburton and his staff rake the beach and have cleaning crews on the boardwalk every day during the season.
In 2006, the Precinct purchased and placed 25 additional trash containers on Ocean Boulevard. Despite these efforts, the volume and types of trash left on the sand and the boardwalk is increasing.
Trash is more than an eyesore. It has profound negative effects on marine and wildlife health and the environment. It also hurts tourism and the quality of life of our community. There is nothing like a nice walk on the beach (as long as you don't step on a glass bottle). It is wonderful to search for that special shell with your children (as long as you don't find yourself telling them not to pick up cigarette butts). It is great to go jogging in the morning (as long as you ignore the cans and litter along the boardwalk).
During the June, 2007 Precinct business meeting, the Commissioners asked the "Beautification Committee" to collect ideas that could be incorporated into a comprehensive effort to address the trash issue. The following suggestions have been made to date:
• Lenny and Carol Paul from the Coffee Break Cafe have suggested handing out trash bags at food establishments/ hotels/ motels/ cottages.• Increase the number of signs on the beach and boardwalk stating the State Park's carry-in, carry-out policy.
• Design and install attractive recycling and trash stations to be placed on the beach.
• Invite local artists to create art that promotes awareness of appropriate trash disposal.
• Join a "Carry It — Don't Bury It" campaign for proper disposal of cigarettes butts in designated containers.
• Install pet waste stations to make it convenient for dog owners to clean after their dogs.
In addition to recycling and commercial trash pick-up, a number of current issues impacting the Precinct -- as well as the quality of life, land use and economic activity of Hampton Beach -- are being addressed and discussed. These issues include improving parking availability, zoning changes, reconstruction of the bridge, reinstating municipal parking lot; fire protection and rebuilding of the new beach fire station. Litter on the beach is a problem that also needs to be addressed. A plan is currently being outlined to motivate people to enjoy the beach and keep it clean. The public is urged to send their suggestions and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.