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Brad Shaw, Dana Point

I have an idea that everyone says is a great one. We have been in the OC Dana Point Harbor for about 25 years where we have had two boats and raised two kids.

Recently, like many others, we got into stand-up paddleboarding. I discovered it’s tougher to pick up plastic trash on the board than it was with our kayak. I am getting better at picking it up, but what to do with it until I get back to the boat where we store the boards? I tried just setting it on the board but it gets pushed off whenever a wake washes over.

We all know what a problem plastic is in the world’s oceans. I personally have seen way too much plastic out there and find it depressing to paddle past it in the Harbor, so here is my idea.

Place trash cans strategically around the Harbor reachable from a board with an outstretched paddle. I have found several strategic places where trash cans already exist, and other sites on the waterside that would be easy to deal with. To make this really work well the cans could be painted very visibly and show some type of cool image from the water creating some buzz. Ideally, the lid would be modified with a type of sweep effect to remove the trash from the paddle as you draw it back, it shouldn’t be too tough to rig something up like broom inserts inverted downward.

Here’s the great part, the paddlers now have a purpose. They will have earned the right to be there. By doing something positive for the Harbor, for that deserted beach down the Baja or that sea life that won’t be killed by eating that very piece of plastic, we will all benefit.

Hopefully, the boaters will cut them a little slack knowing the good they’re doing. God knows they need it. The labor to clean the Harbor would be free and the paddlers would have a better overall experience as well. I am sure the county can afford to make this improvement if we tell them it’s important to us.

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About The Author Dana Point Times

comments (1)

  • Brad Shaw has an excellent idea and I hope the city/county will get behind it and put in the receptacles and market the value of using them!

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