Last night, after work Marcus and I decided to go to Occoquan Park and walk around. It’s about two miles from our house. The park is far away from the road and has baseball fields, soccer fields, a batting cage, a boat slip and awesome views of the river. It looks like the perfect place for a cookout and fun on a hot summer day.
After we drove around for a bit, we decided to park and walk around. We walked down to the water and saw ducks, geese, blue heron and osprey. We sat and chatted with this goose for a while. Literally. He was honking, Marcus was honking back and the goose was answering. It was hilarious.
Tons of big houses and big boats sit right on the water. It’s just a gorgeous place right on the outskirts of the city – secluded enough to make you feel as if you are in another state altogether.
As we approached the boat slip we saw warning signs. The signs warned people against consuming fish caught in the Occoquan River. The particular warning read:
VDH will issue a fish consumption advisory when fish taken from a particular body of water are found to contain potentially harmful levels of contaminants. Some of these contaminants are not excreted from the human body after being consumed, but are stored in body tissue over long periods of time. VDH considers the health effects of eating fish from these waters over long periods of time (chronic effect).
The fish from this region could possibly contain PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). PCBs are used as dielectric fluids in transformers, capacitors and coolants. And for some reason this stuff is just dumped into the river. Sick, right?
Imagine living or fishing in the beautiful river with this picturesque scenery and having to throw your fish back, because eating them can harm you. It’s sad and disappointing, especially since Marcus loves to fish and thought it would make the perfect fishing spot.
As we walked on, we saw something even more disturbing. Broken beer bottles right by the water along with a used syringe. I am assuming that this syringe wasn’t being used for medical purposes.
It was creepy to imagine people coming to the park to shoot up and drink and then just leave everything there. It was sad to see again how such a pretty little area could be so ugly.
I did not think too much about my feelings on this until we got home. We decided to cruise around the neighborhood for a bike ride. As you know from previous posts, we live right on the water – actually right down the water from the park. Our neighborhood is just as gorgeous and picturesque as the park with lots of birds flying around and fish jumping.
We rode to a cute gazebo situated right on a little beach next to the marina. We stopped and watched blue heron dive into the water. Marcus even said, “Isn’t this a nice view?”
And it was. Until I really looked around and saw the beach littered with trash and soda cans. Discarded clothes and broken bottles. Again, something that was meant to be so nice was trashed by people and their carelessness.
I love nature. I am happiest when I’m outside in the sun. A large chunk of pictures I take and post on my blog are of birds, flowers and water. I often times recap our days spent enjoying the outdoors.
So I guess this is my PSA. If we want to continue to enjoy nature we need to take care of it. Dumping chemicals and waste into the rivers will eventually make them too polluted for animals and humans both. It doesn’t take much to throw away your trash instead of just throwing it on the ground. Oh yea, and don’t shoot up in parks and leave the syringe there…it’s just gross and so wrong.
*I mean how freakin cute is this osprey and baby?
If humans stay on this destructive path, all the pretty birds, fish, flowers, trees and water will eventually die or turn ugly and unusable. So make a conscious effort, not just on Earth Day, but every day. Our world is just too nice to mess up. Have a fab day! Happy Good Friday and Earth Day. 🙂