After a little more than three months here in Morro Bay, we decided that it was time to take the dingy over to the sand peninsula that separates Morro Bay from the Pacific Ocean and do some exploring. Loaded with our beach exploration memories of Mexico, the kids and I set off in the dingy across the estuary and landed on the beach. It was just like old times, only 40 degrees cooler, I was wearing a jacket, and 90% of the sand island was off limits!
Without knowing that he was risking being put to death like Wesley Crusher on Star Trek if he violated the pristine nature area (TNG Season One Episode 8: Justice)
, Jason tried to get off the roped in eco-tourist path and violate the sanctified nesting grounds of the snowy plover. The sign was right next to him, what was he thinking? Lucky I acted fast and pulled him back from the brink of violating no less than 7 State and Federal environmental statues. I may not always be there to save him from starting a criminal record that would stop him from one day owning a firearm, but at least I was able to save him this morning and explain to him how todays world works. As I explained to him how the second ammendment to the Constitution was out of fashion today, with most peple falsely thinking it has something to do with hunting, Jason innocently asked me what would happen if the 4th and 5th ammendments became out of fashion. He is studying the Constitution in school, and I didn't have the heart to tell him that they already are out of fashion to the "keep us safe, rather than keep us free crowd".
While we didn't care for the roped-in nature path walk, one thing we noticed right away was how clean the beach and bluffs were. No Mexican Bag fish (plastic grocery bags) or Mexican Kelp balls (plastic Coke, Gatorade and drink bottles) were seen on our entire 2 mile round-trip walk! In fact, we didn't see a single piece of trash on the entire beach, which was the first time we had that experience since going to Mexico. We had almost forgotten what the beach looked like without all the trash. It's something we never could understand about the culture in Mexico, that fishermen and people that lived by and made their living in and around the sea could just toss their trash right in the ocean. My classic trash culture event happened in 2008 during our March Baja Bash. Two 10 to 12 year old boys were helping their father run the diesel fuel barge in Turtle Bay. As dad filled our diesel tanks, we gave each of the two boys a Coke. One by one they flung the plastic bottles into the Bay when they finished drinking. Just an over the shoulder fling and then continued to ask if we had any cookies.
The Mexican Government is trying to educate people about environmental concerns and properly disposing of trash, but it's often a hard argument to make when the local municipal trash pick-up simply dumps the trash along the side of the road outside of town and lights it on fire for disposal. So on one hand you have the absence of reasonable environmental regulations in Mexico based a little on ignorance but more on poverty and on the other hand a roped-in nature trail approach, where Gia worship and the sanctity of nature trumps human life in our culture. Who's trash does more harm in the long run? Well many would say that the answer to that question is above my pay grade, but I do have a pretty good idea, even if saying it out loud isn't in style these days and will get you put on a Govenment watch list.