In the last post I said that next time around we would likely discuss the issue of pollution and what we can do to stop it. Since then, I encountered some of the dirtiest body's of water I have ever seen. Here's that story, followed by some small steps on how we can prevent this from getting worse. 

I grew up in a town where no matter where you are in the county you are never more than a few minutes away from a fishing spot. About a year ago I moved to Richmond, VA. This move led me to fish less because of the lack of good fishing spots. In the past month I moved to a new house still in Richmond, VA and when I found a great fishing hole just a mile from my house I was beyond excited. The pure joy that ran through my body upon discovering this beautiful piece of the city was immense. Now I had to bring my fishing gear into town. The very next weekend I went to my parent's house where I stored all my fishing gear and brought it home to test out my new spot.

The day after I returned home from spending the weekend with family in my hometown I rushed down to go fishing immediately after work. I got down to my spot and set my rod up. I am a fan of fishing with artificial lures which requires you to cast the line out and reel it back in to mimick the actions of a live bait. On my first cast I threw it out and it hit the water just perfect. I reeled my line in at an appropriate pace and as I reeled I felt something grab my line. In anticipation of it being a fish I immediately reeled up the line as fast as possible. When I got the lure back to my rod I realized I had just pulled up a piece of trash. This didn't just happen once, it happened over and over and over again. I could not and still cannot believe the stuff I reeled in. Everything from something that looked like a napkin to a tampon wrapper. This obviously ruined my high and I was immediately upset about what I had encountered. This has continued to haunt me. This is an issue that is very close to me. People who use the our waters as a source of enjoyment and feel entitled enough to put any amount of trash in them should be ashamed.

Here a few tips to help you be a contributor to the water's that you spend time on rather than a detriment:

1.) Take a trash can/bag or any other disposal system anytime you are spending time on or around the water and you know a trash can will not be readily available. 

2.) If you see someone, one of your friends or a stranger putting trash in the water, SAY SOMETHING. It has happened to me, one of my very good friends throwing a beer can or sandwich bag over the side of the boat. When I said to these individuals, do we have a trash can or just ask them why? This has a tendency to make those people think. Quite frequently the biggest problem is they saw someone else do it and then thought it was ok, now they need someone else to let them know it is in fact, not ok.

3.) You also must think about your actions and how they affect our environment. If you throw one bottle in the river it may not have a huge effect, but if everyone that spent time on the river does the same thing you do, all of the sudden it's a big deal. Consider your actions and if you would be ok with everyone doing just as you do.

4.) RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE. Our cities are some of the biggest contributors of water pollution. Help them limit the amount of trash that our waters are exposed to by recycling.

Thank you to those that make an honest effort to keep our waters clean. Your efforts don't go unnoticed, myself and the environment appreciate you.

Thank you as always for reading. This topic tends to get me excited and I am glad I was able to share some quick thoughts on this. I would like to disclose that I have done almost no research on this topic and am purely writing as a result of my personal experiences. If you are looking to be more educated I encourage you to check out http://www.theoceancleanup.com/. This is a company led by a young guy taking on a big issue. I also encourage you to support their cause. You can donate right on the website. As I said before, while your one or two dollars may not make a huge difference, just imagine if you and 1,000 others take that step, now you all have made a big impact.

Talk to you soon,

Landon Bland

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