Green Wishing on the New Jersey Seashore

This past week, my wife and I travelled back east to Stone Harbor, New Jersey. This is truly one of my most favorite places on Earth. The main purpose of the visit was to visit my 99 year-old maternal grandmother, Wilma-ma. We had a glorious trip, spent some great moments on the beach, ate extremely well (fresh-caught flounder cannot be beaten!) and shared some special times with Wilma-ma. I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have been coming here for the past 40 years, and overjoyed to now be sharing it with my wife, Amy.

Across the country, New Jersey...and especially "the Jersey Shore" suffers from some misconceptions and bad press. Some folks may think of the MTV dufuses and others may think of crowded, dirty urban beaches. Southern New Jersey--and Stone Harbor--are so far from these ideas with beautiful, wide, soft-sanded, dune-lined beaches. The borough of Stone Harbor has long been on leading edge of protecting the environment with MANDATORY recycling for the past 20 years and an active fleet of beach combing machines that help ensure that the beaches are clean and (relatively) free of debris and litter.

While the town, and most visitors to S.H. are very conscientious, there are some folks who thoughtlessly leave a trace :( when they head to our precious beaches. So, Amy and I gladly added some green wishing to our walking, running, sand-castle-building and taking regular dips in the "wooder" (Philly and South Jersey accents are a riot!).

For the most part, the beaches were clean. That being said, in the vast amount of space that the SH beaches cover, there were plenty of small green wishes for us to do a whole lot of work. We discovered: sunglasses, straws, plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic water bottles and wrappers, glass (and a few pieces of very cool SEA GLASS), Mylar balloons (sans Falcon Heene), and SO DANG MANY CIGARETTE BUTTS (future posting about cigarette butts coming soon!) Fortunately, Stone Harbor beaches make green wishing easy, with plenty of trash cans and recycling receptacles.

It does bring us pleasure to do our part to help make Stone Harbor--and the world a cleaner, greener place. Out of the hundreds of green wishes that we picked up, I offer these two for public consumption:

1. I sincerely hope that all visitors to Stone Harbor--and all beaches in the US and around the world--recognize that it takes very little effort to keep these beaches free from trash and start GREEN WISHING!

2. I wish that the people in Ames, Iowa recover soon from the recent devastating floods they have faced. This is a wonderful community with very kind, caring people. I would encourage anyone wanting to help to contact the local Lincoln Way Chapter of the American Red Cross to make a donation.