Are you a dog-walker or smoker? We need your help!

Would you believe it?  Listen up, dog owners and smokers:  It took only several hours on Earth Day last Saturday for Sue Lattanzio of Friends of Novato Creek and Sustainable Novato volunteers to collect 106 old trashed tennis balls around Pacheco Pond and Novato Creek (see photos attached) and hundreds of cigarette butts along Bel Marin Keys Blvd. Sue also dragged several truckloads of construction debris off the Pond’s shoreline (see photo attached). Earlier, Sue and a friend picked up nearly 400 balls of various types plus eight large bags of other debris around the Pond.  Total?  More than 500 balls, presumably mostly thrown by dog owners (or crazed tennis players?).  Other debris? Plastic lids, hundreds of bits of styrofoam, plastic toys, lighters, snuff containers, light bulbs, cans, flip flops, shoes, fast food containers, tires, plant containers, and “anything that floats”, Sue said.  Sue, who founded Friends of Novato Creek, said, “We made a small dent, but most shoreline and two creeks we haven’t yet tackled.”  Ed Mainland, a BMK resident, said cigarette filters strewn along BMK Blvd., styrofoam bits, and even tennis balls, can be harmful to water organisms in the Pond and Creek.

The lesson:  Please don’t throw any balls where your dog can’t bring it back to you.  And please don’t toss cigarette butts on the ground.

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