Occasionally visitors remark how clean the island looks. Indeed, drive down island roads this month and you’ll see very little roadside litter; that’s because over 200 volunteers participated in this year’s Great Island Cleanup on Earth Day weekend.
Not including the town of Friday Harbor, they traversed about 45 miles of county roads and several major beaches. Service groups, teams composed of local business staff members, school kids, and concerned individuals all pitched in to pick up about 3600 pounds of litter from island roads and beaches, town streets, sidewalks, and gutters. This is actually more tonnage than last year, but 880 pounds of some REAL HEAVY litter came from Henry Island alone, which wasn’t part of the clean-up last year.
Litter comes from various sources; locals, visitors, boats, and trash washed ashore from far-away lands all contribute to the unsightly problem. In fact, this year, one of the most interesting finds was a glass float from a Japanese fishing net. But volunteers who tramped those long 45 miles are all hoping that their efforts will be rewarded with greater awareness and consciousness of disposing of litter properly by all who visit or call this island home.