The aftermath of last year’s Fourth of July celebration left 4,340 pounds, or 2.17 tons, of garbage on the beaches, tide flats and along Birch Bay Drive.
Residents and community volunteers of the Trash and Litter Crew (TLC) spent the following day collecting and bagging trash and hauling 16 pick-up truck loads to the Birch Bay transfer station.
Paul Razore, owner of SCC/Blaine Bay Refuse, allowed the trash to be dumped free of charge to the community.
Tourists, visitors and residents alike were appalled at the mess left on the beaches of Birch Bay. Conversation the next day focused around “who are these people who leave their garbage behind and have such disregard for a community, a shoreline, and the public who come to enjoy the amenities of Birch Bay?”
Birch Bay is the only place in the county at which, the public is allowed to congregate and blow off fireworks.
The least the public can do is be responsible and pick up their trash. “Pack it in, pack it out!”
Safety is also a concern. Celebrating with alcohol and fireworks can be a dangerous mix. Many beer and wine bottles were tossed and broken glass was left behind on the beaches presenting a safety hazard to all who enjoy the beaches of Birch Bay.
A reminder: It is against the law to consume alcoholic beverages on public beaches.
Last year, “Operation Birch Bay,” conducted by the Whatcom County Sheriff to control the Birch Bay celebration, cost the county taxpayers $11,100.
Eighteen personnel were scheduled and 115 hours of regular time and 122 hours of overtime were logged. The community is grateful for the deputy’s assistance, presence and response to help control and preserve public safety.