Clearing a path for the bike path
Students from the Bergen County Academies scrambled onto the banks of the Hackensack River behind their campus this week to gather stray bits of Styrofoam, discarded sodas cans, old truck tires, rusted pieces of metal and abandoned car parts in an effort to clean up the river's banks and make way for a county bike path.
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#1 Apr 11, 2009
I know many young people that are far more aware of the inherent problems in pollution of the air and water. THE MAIN challenge in our society, is in educating ADULTS about the value of protecting the environment.
Greed is a large part of this problem, developers will build as close to open spaces and waterways as the law will allow. That generally means politicians taking kickbacks to relax laws and restrictions. How many politicians in NJ are endighted on a yearly basis for taking contractor kickbacks ? I saw my two of my childhood friends, both politicians in a small Jersey shore town, fall into the trap of an FBI sting for this reason !!
The New York City metropolitan area is a culturally diverse. Unfortunately , many people that come here from less fortunate Third World countries have different standards for the environment. Sometimes they have to deplete water and forestry regions just to make daily survival possible for themselves and their families. Often, the act of dumping in natural areas is just taken for granted. When people of that social mentality migrate to the USA those values ( actually the lack of ) don't disappear.
This is all a matter of education. I don't believe anyone wants to see their children inherit a land that was once a pristine wilderness when the first settlers arrived here, turn into a radioactive wasteland. Sometimes it does seem that way though. I heard the New York Times writer, Thomas Friedman say that if we don't take account of what we are doing, we are going to burn this planet up !
The other day I watched a driver of a NJ Transit bus in Hackensack, open a bottle and throw the plastic wrapper out of the window. It made me realize that the importance of a clean physical environment needs to be extended past the Grammar and High School classrooms.
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