A few years ago when we were visiting Asia, whether Bali, or Phi Phii, or Patong the garbage on beaches was focused on abandoned plastic water bottles, bags and straws. On this visit much of the plastic was gone, the coral reefs were being restored and the white sands and blue waters restored to a visual feast. But on close examination another litter was emerging. These were litters of unemployed. Empties were no longer bottle but boats.
Where once the daily fish market flourished, long boats were ferrying tourists. Fish mongers replaced by tourist taxis hustling for fares. There was no Eco in this tourist trade. Jet skis, Long boats, Taxis, and anything else with an engine that burns gasoline was hustled along the boardwalk where once fresh fish and families played. The visual chatter of tourist cash created a hustle that went beyond helpful to aggressively annoying.
Piers and long boats supplanted a fishing community and a the banks of a quiet river no longer supported net drying racks. The litter is gone and so are the signs of life. In the sand at the out tide two children play. They are creating moats around sand castles. Two years ago twenty fishermen and their partners were digging clams from the sand beds. Recovery is more than removing plastic or whatever plugs the vista. Recovery is about building a way of life with pride and dignity and hope! Rebuilding community and restoring connections creates hope.