On the cusp of Earth Day – Stop the pollution

Dear Editor:

Re: James Braddock Park Lake to receive First Renovation Since 1950’s

With Earth Day approaching, it’s safe to say I speak on behalf of the community when I say we are so grateful for the restoration of the lake at the James Braddock Park, the largest and most diverse green-space in our town. It attracts the public for a variety of recreational activities. Whether it be the children’s playground, the track, the scenery whilst going for a tranquil walk at the lake, or the sporting fields, the park offers something for people of all ages and pastimes. The lake is cherished among runners, cyclists, yogis; people of all walks of life. However, it is most notably enjoyed by the wildlife whose home is the tiny niche habitat within the surrounding areas.

As a fellow Hudson County resident, I visit this park almost daily to take advantage of the aesthetics of the lake, and couldn’t help but notice the edges are littered with plastic objects. Water bottles, plastic bags, food wrapping, it’s all in there endangering the health and welfare of our local wildlife. It saddens me to know after pouring so much money into the restoration project, local citizens don’t strive to keep the place clean, especially an ecosystem. I’m positive there are several courses of action we can take to ensure this problem is rectified in an economic manner. Workers were paid to literally drain the entire lake, perform site remediation of the contaminated soil, and investments were made in adding more natural fauna to only have the aftermath be plastic pollution again.

Plastics break down into micro plastics, and although little is yet known of the adverse effects of micro plastics on our ecosystem, we certainly should not have to wait long enough to find out in order to do something about the very real problem of plastic pollution today. Perhaps one of the community service tasks can be assigned to the lake cleanup. I’m sure if enough awareness of this issue is raised, we can acquire volunteers from local public schools or members of their environmental club to perhaps gather once a season minimally for plastic pollution cleanup. The ultimate goal here is that all of our children and children’s children can one day enjoy the very same lake we do!

Krystal Chavarria