In the spring of 2019 FSP set out on a small cleanup initiative to the Cutler Coast Public Lands in Maine. The FSP crew consisted of six like minded individuals. With a singular goal in mind they planned to camp along the Cutler Coastal Trail in order to maximize their time for litter removal along the remote coastline.
Years ago while hiking Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia the seeds for this trip were planted. At the end of a glorious coastal hike the trail opened up to a large rocky river mouth that emptied into the ocean. We were taken back by the amount of ocean pollution that had washed up on this remote part of the shore. Sifting through various litter we found a large plastic garbage bag, filled it to the brim, and began the trek back. While taking turns hauling the full bag of litter 4 miles back to the trailhead we collectively brainstormed a better way to cleanup these remote areas.
This eye opening experience brought into fruition the creation of backpacks with the purpose of being able to remove litter from remote areas affected by coastal pollution. These backpacks are more of an exo-skeleton crafted with multiple straps to secure and carry a 30 gallon paper yard waste bag comfortably on your back. On this trip to Cutler Coast Public Lands the FSP tested them out with great success.
Over two nights and two days of camping, more than 15 miles of hiking we were able to collect 4 bags of litter, and properly dispose of the large haul.
Here’s a rough list of what was able to be removed:
140 plastic drink bottles
262 pieces of styrofoam from the size of a quarter to a full buoy
215 feet of nylon rope
9 large plastic bottles (oil, antifreeze, bleach)
48 pieces of plastic (zip ties, bottle parts, k cups, flossers, chip bags, ziplock bags, food containers)
29 lobster claw rubber bands
17 pieces of metal fishing traps
2 tennis balls
2 plastic buoys
And there's a still a ton of litter waiting patiently to be taken away for proper disposal... Show Love For What You Love - FSP Outdoors
Photography by: Jermey Davenport and Joe Radano