drplasticpicker explores the great Mississippi River!
October 29, 2019
Hello dear friends! Drplasticpicker and Dr. Dear Friend spent our last evening in New Orleans walking along the banks of the great Mississippi River. As you know, the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference is in New Orleans this year. We had finished attending at least 6 hours of lectures, so we meandered from the New Orleans Convention Center to Jackson Square and the famous Cafe Du Monde. We were looking for beignets and chicory coffee!
During this trip, drplasticpicker concentrated on reducing my consumption of plastics while traveling and attending a convention. Considering that I accumulated about 20 reusable tote bags but did refuse lots of random plastic bags and plastic gizmos – I think I did just fair. That’s the thing about drplasticpicker, I don’t pretend to be perfect – just trying the best I can. Regarding all the conference things I will bring home that will be a different post.
As I walked along the river bank, I peaked several times at the Mississippi and the river water is very brown. Indeed now through the magic of google, I know that the Mississippi drains an expansive 31-state landscape and likely 40% of plastic pollution in the Gulf of Mexico originates in the Mississippi River. Fifty cities and 20 million people rely on the Mississippi for drinking water as well.
I did see plastic on the banks below. I yearned to gather it, but I did not have gloves nor did I see a safe way to get it. Getting beach plastic is much easier and honestly seems cleaner!
I am sure there are plenty of secret cleaners like drplasticpicker in New Orleans. I wish them the best of luck in their corner of the world and cleaning on their river banks that lead to the Gulf of Mexico. I believe their plastic will end up in the North Atlantic Gyre. I am working on the North Pacific Gyre, and honestly I have more than enough work in California.
But like above the ocean’s horizon when I ocean plastic pick at home, I noticed the beautiful clouds above the Mississippi. In fact, the beautiful clouds looked like a bright river in the sky. I have never seen the sky look like that. The world is beautiful, yet also polluted, here too.