Former Keep Carter County Beautiful Chairman Ed Jordan speaks out against litter on Milligan Highway

Published 12:18 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2022

To the Editor:
Last week while I was out walking and doing my Trash-ercise litter pickup along Milligan Highway and Powder Branch Road, I saw that someone had thrown out a bag of fast food trash that contained Styrofoam. I was saddened to see that most of the Styrofoam had been eaten by some poor critters, as there were only small pieces of the Styrofoam left along with the bag and soft drink cups.
This saddens me greatly, what we’re doing to our wildlife and aquatic life by feeding them garbage for our own convenience and lack of pride in our community and ourselves. The folks that continue to do this should feel horrible about themselves because of the pain and slow death along with foaming mouths that they have inflicted on poor innocent animals.
The animals end up eventually dying a horrible painful slow death because of litter thrown out into our environment. We are destroying not only our environment, but inflicting great pain and suffering on our wildlife and aquatic life, including death.
We turn around and eat trophy fish and wild game which have eaten plastic/Styrofoam and miraculously survived. Now we are finding plastic molecules in human blood, feces and even our unborn children’s blood in the womb. As of now, no one knows the long-term effect this will have on humans. This should be a wake-up call for all of us to stop this horrible irresponsible littering and illegal dumping.
On another sad note, about two weeks ago Keep Carter County Beautiful partnered with Keep Tennessee River Beautiful volunteers to clean up a portion of Watauga Lake, and began at the Little Milligan Boat Ramp. Not far from the boat ramp we discovered a creek flowing out of a hollow into the lake that was laden with household garbage. The trash and litter had washed into the lake. The size of the floating and partially submerged garbage pile in our beautiful Watauga Lake was astonishing. It was at least a 30 feet by 50 feet by 6 inches deep pile of floating debris.
This must stop. It’s dangerous and stupid! Legal action should be taken against those individuals that are doing this horrible illegal dumping and polluting of our environment and precious, what used to be beautiful, clean, and clear water.
It was also noted by some of the volunteers, that they had never seen such a large pile of household garbage in one area the entire 50 years that they have been involved with illegal dump sites and litter. Some of the volunteers said they thought about how nice it would be to swim in Watauga Lake but after seeing this, they would not even dip their toe in the water.
If we are to fix this, we need all hands on deck. I am imploring our community leadership, residents, law enforcement agencies, courts, legislators, schools, churches, and volunteers to help stop this. Get involved and take this matter seriously! Please, I implore all to dispose of your garbage and litter properly before it is too late. The sad note is it may already be too late.

Ed Jordan
Former chairman
Keep Carter County Beautiful

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