Some things will always amaze me. One of them is why people go to exceptional nature refuges to relax in the beautiful, unspoilt environment and destroy it? Such thoughts accompanied me during a clean-up of Zakrzówek, the only diving site in the historical city of Krakow. The terrain of Zakrzówek was a limestone quarry for over 90 years until 1990, when when the exploitation was completed and the excavation site would fill with water, creating a beautiful lagoon only 5km from the city centre.
The old quarry belongs to the ‘Kraken’ diving club and, due to safety reasons (vertical cliffs, deep water and dangerous thermocline), was closed to the public. Despite this, many come during the summertime and leave tons of garbage around the area. ‘Kraken’ diving club organises a yearly clean-up action in the early autumn, combining the work from the land and from the water.
I hadn’t even walked 5 metres to find a real waste dump full of EVERYTHING. Within 2 hours I hadn’t cleaned more than 200m2 and filled 5 plastic bags (130l each) with ease. The action lasted a total of 5 hours. We managed to gather about 60 tourist grills, 3 trolleys from a nearby supermarket, several tires and many, many others.
I was wondering, where all the garbage came from? I don’t think anyone would come to Zakrzówek to leave the litter. The problem might be even worse: a lot of people don’t realise how much do they impact the area by leaving just one plastic bottle each. It is the younger generation that spends time by the quarry and, unfortunately, our peers pollute and destroy it. I have only seen 3 people my age taking part in the clean-up. Are we really the generation to bring the change to our world?
- Date: 19/9/2011
- Location: Kraków, Poland – 50°03′41″N 19°56′18″E
BY LAUREN MORRELL
This year celebrated the 10th anniversary of a patriotic day in American History. What better way to commemorate 9/11 than to make America more Beautiful? On September 11, 2011 Ibwent with 40 other Annapolitans to clean up Jonas Green Park, across the river from the US Naval Academy. In conjunction with the Nature Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean-Up, the event included garbage pick-up, tree planting, bay grass planting and rain gardening. My friends and I were on clean-up duty, and due to the recent hurricanes, there was plenty to do. Over 12 bags of trash and recycling were collected, including a county street sign!
- Date: 11/9/2011
- Location: Jonas Green park, Annapolis, USA