I’m writing to thank two groups of young people who may just inspire us all to become a little more involved. They invest in our future. Do you invest in your children’s futures? Your grandchildren? That’s the prudent thing to do, certainly. But do you also invest in the future of the earth your children and grandchildren will inherit? These young people are stellar examples of doing just that. 

There is a local group, the National Honor Society from Ilwaco High School. They’ve been doing beach clean ups since before the Grass Roots Garbage Gang was even a glint on the sea. They show up, half dozen to a dozen and a half, and go right to work south of the Seaview approach. They make it to both the winter and spring clean ups. I suggest you go take a look after they’ve been through. That beach is clean. 

Their academic advisor is Amy Huntley. She said, “The kids are always impressed when they find interesting garbage. I remember the time that shoes had been floating around because of a ship that had gone down at sea and we found a lot of individual flip-flops and sneakers. We also found a toilet one time!” 

Well, let that be an inspiration to us all! You never know what you’ll find on the beach — cell phones, toilets, DVD players, glass floats, shrimp boat rope. … 

There is another group to tell you about — it is a Future Farmers of America (FFA) club. “Well of course they are interested in preserving the environment,” you say. “Yes,” I say, “but they do it in an unusual way.” First of all, they come all the way from Woodland and stay overnight before the clean up at their own expense. They come for the spring event whenever they can, but their prom is often on the weekend we have chosen. Of course, they have to go to the prom! Surely, an iron-clad excuse to get out of roaming the beach in the spring blow and digging garbage out of the sand? But don’t be so quick! When their prom night conflicts with our schedule, they just pick another weekend, and with no fanfare or recognition, they show up and clean the beach all by themselves. By themselves is not an inconsequential undertaking. That translates to 20 to 30 people on the beach, our beach. 

You live here on the Peninsula, and you love the beach. Even if living on the peninsula means you seldom get to the beach, you still love being so close, right? If you don’t live here full time, then obviously, you must come here because you love the beach. So let’s show our love the way those youngsters are doing. Let’s care for our beach. If you just can’t do it yourself, then talk to friends and neighbors. Spread the word of the need. We need help on the beach. We need to give the beach to those who come after us. And we need to give them a healthy beach. 

The next clean up will be on April 23. There will be a potluck supper the night before, a speaker and a soup feed following the clean up. Watch for more information in the Chinook Observer, signs all over the Peninsula and reader boards. Your help is not only needed, it’s much appreciated. And the children shall lead us …  

Thanks to you and thanks to those amazing young adults for doing their part! 

Debby Moggio 

Ilwaco  

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