Iwalk Gulfport's beach near Jones Park with some regularity. This year, there has been a remarkable increase in our Least Tern census. Since July 4, there has also been a remarkable increase in the amount of litter on the beaches.
Now the Least Terns are forced to conduct their waterside courting amid human litter consisting largely of pyrotechnic debris but with an added assortment of diapers, T-shirts, water bottles, etc.
One is inclined to blame the folks who gathered to celebrate Independence Day but it would appear that they did their part to clean the beaches. Trash barrels are filled to overflowing and debris from them is gradually moving into the Sound.
No effort has been made to clean up. In view of the birds, some hand labor will be needed.
What I have been seeing when I walk Gulfport's beaches is evidence of a populace that cares but of political and governmental leadership that, at least in this instance, has been sadly lacking.
RALPH E. VAN ATTA