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Take only pictures, leave only footprints. 

I like this motto very much.  I don’t always prescribe to it as I do harvest the occasional fish, but I always follow, and with this I do not waiver, the second part to the above statement – leave only footprints.  I do not smoke and therefore leave cigarette butts around – which by the way, is littering.  I do not go to the local coffee purveyor, grab my cup-o-joe  to go and then proceed to leave the container by the river because I feel it is too much trouble to take it out with me.  Listen people and listen closely – if it wasn’t trouble bringing it to the river  then  it is no problem bringing it back – get it?  Good.

When I see garbage down by the river I can’t help but think – really?    I am amazed at how insensitive my fellow fishing enthusiasts can be when it comes to the environment, especially considering how it is the environment that provides them with the enjoyment of their past-time.  I am amazed, but I am not surprised.

The other day, I was walking along the bank of a local river I intended to fish.  I had visited the river a few times over the past month and each time I had thought to myself that I should take pictures of all the garbage and post the pictures up on  the web.  The only thing is that I never got around to taking the pictures.  Every time I go – and here is the thing – I think, no problem, I’ll just take pictures the next time I’m down here!  Think about that statement for a minute – I know that the next time I come down to the river, the garbage will still be there and in some cases, the litter will be even worse.

I have never been a litterer.  The act of polluting the environment so directly by my hand in a way where I can see the immediate result would cause far too much guilt to make it worthwhile.  I find it much easier to carry out everything I carry in.

Upper Thames Conservation Authority River Clean-Up (and others) 

I am not just a complainer.  You can ask my kids.  We have spent more then one season participating in a local event called the Upper Thames Conservation Authority River Clean-up .  Not only does this make me feel good as I am helping to clean up the mess I abhor; the event helps teach my kids the importance of not littering as I know that they do not enjoy cleaning it up.  I think that everyone should participate in this event.  One thousand empty water bottles or a thousand used coffee cups with all their rolled up rims later and you see if you leave litter laying around, not to mention one dirty diaper by the side of the road. Yuck!!  Who does that?  Really?

Anyway, the event is coming up and I encourage you to spend some time participating.  I hope to post a video soon of an interview with a few of the event coordinators.  If you would like more information on this event, please reply to this post and I will get you as much information as possible.  This particular event takes place around the Thames River in Oxford and Middlesex Counties but I am sure that there are more events like it around rivers in other areas.  If participating in an event like this is not for you, I don’t judge you, but could you please, please, please make certain that you do not contribute to the problem?  Be the example and be the solution.  Don’t litter by the river!

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