By: Natalie MacPhee / Herald Contributor
Roger Williams University is known for its gorgeous rocky beaches and spectacular views from almost anywhere on campus. The campus landscape and buildings are stunning themselves, but there is no doubt that the Mount Hope Bay is the eye-catcher on campus. The shell path is perfect for a peaceful morning run or an afternoon of light reading with only the sound of rolling waves and boats passing by. It would be to my surprise if a person on campus does not take a moment every day to glance at the bay, even in the midst of a storm. It is impossible not to stop and admire beautiful sunsets reflecting on the water in the evening, and maybe even catch a glimpse of the glistening night lights from the Mount Hope Bridge socializing with the colorful canvas in the sky.
But, we are missing something from this perfect picture. Something significant. Something harmful to our environment, public health, and wildlife. The tree lines and shores linking the shell path to the base of the Mount Hope Bridge are home to human pollution. Trash–such as Dunkin’ Donuts cups, receipts, plastic bags, empty water bottles, and broken glass–is tossed onto the ground, littering our scenic RWU beaches. During high tide, loose trash has the possibility of floating away into the bay, traveling into the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay, and then out to sea.
Along with polluting the water, the trash is also toxic on land for wildlife, the environment, and natural habitats. If you wake up early enough in the morning, or take a stroll late at night on the shell path on campus, you may come across deer grazing on the grass lawns. Not only does this trash disturb their lifestyle, but it is also unpleasing to the eye. It is our job to take care of the bay and land, so we can continue to appreciate our picturesque campus.
On the morning of Saturday, October 15, the RWU Outing Club set out to collect trash along the beach by Willow and along Old Ferry Road leading to the beach. This club donated their time to helping give back to the environment, going on weekly trips to indulge in nature and the outdoors. It is important that we as human beings do not litter our home away from home with garbage, and take action if we notice an absurd amount of trash. Let’s keep our beautiful campus clean of pollution and litter so we can admire the sunsets, sunny days, and stormy weather without thinking twice about negative impacts on the environment.