Constant dumping threatens habitats

As a resident of the Everett area’s last semi-protected wetlands, I am writing this letter to report the saddening and very threatening dumping that continues daily on Ebey Island.

Located underneath the trestle between Everett and Lake Stevens, this small community has largely enjoyed the benefits of rural living and protected environments of many threatened Pacific Northwest species. I walk around the island often and am continually overwhelmed by the amount of garbage that members of the greater Everett community have thrown into the fragile habitats of inter-tidal wetlands.

During my walks I have witnessed red-tailed hawks stalking field mice, raccoon babies opening their eyes for the first time, herons silently poised, ospreys collecting twigs for nesting, porcupines hobbling under blackberry brambles, rare loon species grooming the bobbles of feathers atop their heads, white-tailed deer nibbling at ripe salmonberries and assortments of songbirds whistling to their kin.

I’ve also seen auto motors, old clothing, beer cans, food wrappers, outmoded televisions, buckets of oil, infinite plastic bags, even a 28-foot boat discarded. This trash presents serious health hazards to humans and animals alike. It is sickening to watch car battery liquids seep quietly into ponds where frogs thrive, where herons stalk, where deer drink. Dumping hazardous waste and garbage is an exceedingly selfish act. It embraces an assumption that denies self-accountability, self-responsibility and stewardship for community and the environment. These are not healthy or sustainable values. Dumping is a behavior that disrespects and destroys the land, the plant and animal kingdoms, and especially the dumpers themselves.

As Ebey Island residents continue to work with the county to tighten dumping restrictions and increase awareness, there is ample opportunity for those who dump here to amend their actions and grant the wetlands and themselves the power of change and reconciliation.

Elizabeth Bullman

Ebey Island

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