The Ranger gets to go to lots of meetings, especially now he’s old enough to be a manager and doesn’t spend much time actually doing any work on the ground. After all, what are managers for if not having meetings? So at a recent meeting I got to talk plenty about issues surrounding beach management. It was actually quite interesting – despite the headline – and we certainly did talk a load of rubbish, with one of the topics the issue of what to do when a great deal of it washes up on the shore. Not a trivial matter.
However I was struck by what one of my colleagues said during a bathing water quality discussion. Explaining how we can now detect even very tiny amounts of contamination by bacteria from faeces, he explained: Wherever there are people there is evidence of faecal contamination Even in what we would call very clean water it’s possible to detect low levels of faecal contamination. The more people there are around, the higher the levels. Mind you I thought that ‘faecal contamination’ was a bit of a circumlocutious phrase for which a common English alternative already exists. Still, however you phrase it we who live by the sea, and depend upon it, should perhaps be mindful of our effect upon it.