Leave No Trace…..NY Style


Over the years Dara and I have paddled by kayak or canoe numerous locations. We have canoed lakes and rivers in Vermont, the New Jersey Pine barrens and during my days in the service I canoed may of the lakes in North Carolina. Dara and I have kayaked the coastal waters of Florida and the New England states, including part of the Maine Water Trail. We have kayaked the coastal waters of Washington State almost to Canada. We have paddled  the inland water ways and bays of  Delaware,  Maryland and now  Arizona and Utah. We have literally paddled hundreds if of miles and one thing has become overly apparent states outside of New York with the exception of upper New York State have a much better respect for their waterways, environment  and their fellow paddlers. It is as if people of lower New York State including Long Island have never heard of the principles of “Leave No Trace” or if they have they obviously just don’t care, for our waterways are a cesspool of garbage.

I can’t recall seeing one piece of litter on the waterways or highways of Washington State, Arizona or Utah. The waterways of the New England states were void of litter, as for Delaware and Maryland I would consider their waterways  pristine when compared to the litter which floats on the waters of lower New York and Long Island.

Ask anyone who has paddle the Carmen’s River with me in the spring my kayak returns looking like a mini garbage barge loaded with water bottle others have discarded. I don’t know why it is but down state New Yorkers including Long Island seem to be the largest group of litterers in the country? From all the other states Dara and I have paddle down state Yew York and Long Island hold the record for the most litter on our waterways. Maybe it is not just litter from New Yorkers maybe it also litter from the New England states and the west coast and all the other coastal states in the U.S. which  just floats to Long Island. Yes that must be it.

Maybe the Leave No Trace organization should change or modify its slogan to read Leave No Trace; New Yorkers exempt.

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.



  1. John Jr says:

    So true
    Just the other day driving through Queens, on my way home, the driver in front of me
    thru a brown bag then shortly a wraper from his car. It looked like he was eating a sandwich that he got at a deli and was using the street as his garbage can.
    I wish I had an answer as to a way to stop this.



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