To the Editor:
I moved to Willsboro five years ago. I moved there because as I child I spent summers in Willsboro, and fell in love with the pristine beauty of The Adirondack Mountains, Lake Champlain and all of what the surrounding area had to offer someone like myself who is a lover of the mountains and the unspoiled beauty of nature which the Adirondack park is known for.
Since moving here however I have noticed a growing, and very disturbing problem with my otherwise beautiful town. That problem is pollution, and the level of the problem is quite shocking and alarming. I live in a small community of homes on Willsboro point which is a peninsula surrounded on three sides by Lake Champlain, and Willsboro bay, respectfully. On my daily walks with my dog I have noticed an ever increasing level along the roads in the woods, and in the drainage trenches which flow into culverts and eventually directly into Lake Champlain. This pollution includes beer cans and bottles, household garbage, tires, food wrappers and containers, used, soiled diapers and even one spot where a local family has made a habit of dumping their kitty litter, complete with kitty turds, into the drainage trench on the side of the road on a regular basis. Again these drainage culverts flow direcly into lake Champlain. It’s almost at the point where I’m afraid to walk my dog because of a fear of what he may scoop up with his mouth if if I’m not paying close attention to everything he sniffs. Not to mention the damage that’s being done to the eco system, such as the soil the ground water, and the wildlife.
The disturbing part is that this pollution is not the work of out of towners, or seasonal visitors, but of the residents who live here. When I was very young I learned that polluting the environment was not O.K. We were taught both at home and in school the damage that pollution does not only to the ecosystem, but to our health, and the health of our loved ones, our pets, and our wild life. Unfortunately the type of pollution that I’m seeing seems to be the work of adults rather than young uninformed children, ie. alcoholic beverage containers, household trash, tires, diapers, cat litter etc.
I have lived in Southern New York most of my life in an urban area, and also spent some time living in urban Tampa Florida. I have never seen, in any community that I have lived in this level of pollution. The fact that no one is addressing it is even more disturbing. I have notified the local government, the EPA and the DEC on several occasions, and to my knowlege nothing has been done to address the problem. The garbage and the cat litter continue to pile up.
I recently had a friend visit me from Florida. I was eager to show off the unspoiled beauty of my beloved Adirondack Park and Lake Champlain, but was quickly mortified when taking her for a walk down to the Lake shore the first thing she remarked on was how “disgusting” all the garbage on the side of the road was, and she couldn’t believe that people would discard their trash in such a way and also that it is left there to rot into the ground, and flow into the lake. Needless to say I was mortified.
I’m sure that as a community there must be something that can be done about this. Perhaps a community clean up day where volunteers could organize and help clean our community, along with efforts to inform the public with some type of educational campaign to help people understand that when they pollute the envireonment they are not only making their community look ugly, but they are endangering the health and welfare of themselves and their loved ones. Perhaps even posting signs that would discourage the pollution, or maybe putting out trash recepticles along some of the streets that are seriously affected to save people the trouble of having to carry their trash home and dispose of it properly, and also to make it easier for pedestrians and passers by to pick up trash and dispose of it as they pass by and notice it.
This is supposed to be a protected area. A designated state park where nature is meant to be protected, preserved, and enjoyed by residents and visitors. Unfortunately, the streets and roads surrounding the area where I live are some of the filthiest I have ever seen.
I would like to see an effort made by my local government, members of my community, and any local agency or stewardship group to address and take steps to correct this growing and disturbing problem.
William Rock, Willsboro