This week, our friend Linley Whelan emailed us the photo below which inspired us to write in this space about a terrible phenomenon — and that is the truly bizarre and totally disgusting behavior of abandoning all sorts items on the beach — particularly at Long Beach where it seems to be a major issue.
The offering, as you can see, is a bunch of candy — yes, candy, that reports indicate a woman has been discarding regularly at Long Beach, ostensibly “for the birds.”
We know of no birds that thrive on pure chocolate, colorful sugary confections and stale Swedish fish, and, in fact, suspect that this sort of crap can, in fact, be harmful to wildlife.
Then there is the potential for young children and dogs happening along who will find it hard to resist candy and other food items laying on the beach — especially chocolate which can be harmful if not fatal to dogs.
It’s not just candy either – one Express staffer recently saw a pile of old meat discarded on Long Beach, something else dogs may find totally irresistible but we found incalculably gross.
These carelessly dumped food items are also attracting another type of animal — rats, which can often be seen roaming the beach in the early morning hours sniffing out the unnatural booty.
And we fear with summer at our door step, this problem is only going to get worse in the coming months. Long Beach and other area beauty spots tend to be a haven for warm weather dumping when all sorts of summer folks who are either too cheap, too lazy or too selfish to dispose of their household garbage legally and responsibly.
It all winds up on the beach (often on Sunday night before people head back to points west) along with the resident candy and meat and TVs and whatever else people are looking to get rid of. But why worry? It’ll become someone else’s job to clean up.
So if you’re reading this — and you know who you are — do the rest of humanity a favor and stop leaving your crap on the beaches and roadways.
If your food is still edible, please donate it to a local food pantry so humans in need can benefit from it. If it’s no good, then it belongs in the dump — and certainly not on the beach where innocent wildlife, pets and, God forbid, children can get at it.
By the way, if you really feel like throwing something on the beach, why not stop by the Sag Harbor Fair Foods Market this Saturday and pick up some “seed bombs.” Yes, they may look like chocolate truffles, but in fact are much healthier for the environment — a mix of clay, soil and coastal dune plant seeds designed to re-vegetate beaches in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
If all goes well, these little seed pods may sprout, thrive and bring back the beaches that were so radically affected by Sandy’s wrath.
Now that’s the kind of “littering” we can get behind.