Saturday, July 28, 2012

07/28/2012 - Garrows Bend - 10 miles of Litter makes me Bitter

Launch: Arlington Park (Stupidest kayak launch ramp design ever. Even carrying the kayak on my shoulder it was still banging on the ramp railing.)
Launch Cost: FREE.
Destination: Garrows Bend
Distance: 10-11 miles (round trip).
Trip Rating: Moderate due to distance.
Time Paddling: 4 hours
Weather: Sunny, humid and hot. Winds 0-10 out of the West. Current negligible. High tide.
GPS Track: To view or download the GPS track of this trip, Click Here.

Header image. The backwaters of Garrows Bend contain a wealth of bird rookeries. If you can muster the courage to paddle by all the garbage and ignore it, this is what you could see. I can't ignore the plastic crap, especially since the City of Mobile Public Works does not have a single person removing the litter. Instead of having a top notch eco-tourism destination, Mobile has yet another illegal garbage dump that I would be embarrassed to invite anyone to paddle in.

Sunrise as seen 1/4 mile east of AirBus - shoreline filled with trash. For the next four hours all I saw was garbage. Welcome to Mobile's southwest urban waterway where like Three Mile Creek and Dog River, no one removes the storm water litter. Enjoy your polluted Alabama Seafood.

A Coast Guard representative hollered at me not to take photos of Coast Guard boats. Why doesn't the Coast Guard remove the litter from their own shoreline instead of harassing a kayaker taking a photo of the sunrise? There are photos plastered all over the internet of Barbara Mabrity vessel and this one shows way less detail than those already online. One of the Coast Guard's missions is Marine Environmental Protection. Sector Mobile - allowing pollution to rot on your own shorelines indicates a mission failure.

The backwaters of Garrows Bend are a birder's paradise. Today's paddle was ruined though because no matter where I was along the 10 miles of shoreline in the area, there was litter visible. Let me put it this way, kayaking in Garrows Bend for me is like trying to eat in a restaurant when there is vomit on all the surrounding tables. Yucko! The garbage ruins nature's ambiance. Yucko! Guess I'll wait another three years before kayaking here again.

A heron.

The berm that was being constructed over three years ago is finished, lined with large rocks and is already filling up with plastic garbage.

I simply could not enjoy bird watching today due to trash visible along every shoreline the entire trip.

Our material world of convenience containers is becoming part of our water, including all those Chinese toys with lead paint.

Upper Garrows Bend.

Most of the properties in the Garrows Bend area belong to the Coast Guard, the Airport Authority, the State of Alabama, Alabama State Docks, and the Mobile City Water and Sewer. Clean your shorelines!

Upper Garrows Bend.

I saw five abandoned river channel marker buoys along Garrows Bend all no more than 1.5 miles away from the Coast Guard base. Tend your buoys US Coast Guard!

What has changed since last kayaking this area three years ago is the staggering number of Styrofoam Noodles that fishermen abandon which end up on the shoreline. In some places the Styrofoam Noodles outnumbered plastic bottles. All you need is a state fishing license to pollute legally.

It didn't matter where I was, both on open waters or in back creeks, there was trash on the shorelines.

It didn't matter where I was, both on open waters or in back creeks, there was trash on the shorelines.

There are three urban ditches feeding into Garrows Bend. All of them come from near Interstate I-10. The unnamed ditch between McPhillips and Armstrong World was polluted with plastic three years ago. No change in three years.

This is the Brookley 6th Street ditch less than 1/4 mile from AirBus. Instead of being able to enjoy a 1/2 mile long walking trail along a pristine drainage creek just north of AirBus, AirBus employees get a garbage dump drainage ditch.

When it comes to the pollution along the shoreline of Mobile Bay, where is Mobile Baykeeper? They must be too busy throwing another fundraising party to "Save Mobile Bay." I'd like to see Baykeeper's stats: Hours partying vs Hours removing pollution and Money spent cleaning vs Money spent fundraising. While Mobile Baykeeper parties, here is something for leaders think about: For a Coastal Cleanup Event to be anywhere near effective removing trash from Mobile Bay's shoreline (approx 125 miles) with the density level of pollution currently lining Mobile Bay, there needs to be about 18,300 volunteers each filling 6 bags of trash. Each volunteer would clean about 36 feet of shoreline in four hours. How polluted does the shoreline need to be before public works officials deem it wise to employ someone to begin removing the pollution? I suggest calling in the National Guard to clean up this National Disaster. 

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