Lakefront sailboats].jpg

Sailboats race around buoys in Lake Pontchartrain off the New Orleans Lakefront Sunday, April 7, 2019.

On last Sunday’s beautiful afternoon, I took what is normally my morning walk on the New Orleans Lakefront. From Landry’s to the Mardi Gras Fountain, although it was crowded, I was heartened to see families, friends, couples and just groups, some in matching T-shirts, enjoying the beautiful weather, lake and space.

One group of young men was even preparing to barbecue in the back of a pickup truck. One family group had a lemonade stand, balloons and all. This morning, I took the same walk. There was hardly anybody in sight except a few joggers, a few other walkers and a couple of fishermen. But the number of foam containers, plastic bags, water bottles and paper cups scattered not only on the upper space, but also on the stairs of the seawall, and many, already into the lake, was terribly disheartening.

It isn’t that there aren’t sufficient containers; there are. Bright blue containers lined with heavy duty plastic bags. It isn’t that everybody leaves their trash where they’re sitting, enjoying themselves; as I gathered some of the stuff on the upper level and dropped it into bins, I noted the bins were at least half full. It’s just that some people are careless, forgetful or don’t care.

What can be done to help solve this problem? More signage? “Please dispose of your trash in the proper bins and protect our beautiful lakefront!” An occasional representative from the Levee Board when one can predict a large crowd will gather on the lakefront? That person could stroll among the folks and just say, “Enjoy your time. When you leave, please put your trash in the proper containers.” A neighborhood organization project? Some other volunteer group project? A combination of the above? I hope some solution can be determined. One thing is sure. Once the trash is in the lake, it’s gone — and not to a good place.

Carol Allen

retired superintendent of schools

New Orleans