Rhythm & Booms – stop polluting Warner Parks’s wetland

The following letter was sent to Terry Kelly, founder of Rhythm & Booms:

Dear Mr. Kelly:

Thank you for asking for Wild Warner’s counsel on cleaning up Rhythm & Booms’ fireworks pollution in Warner Park’s wetland.

If we were contractually obligated to remove “all debris” from the land and water, as you are in 2012, we would first want to know the size of the job.

Fireworks experts we consulted suggest that at least 10 percent, and as much as 20 percent, of the original fireworks’ weight will fall as solid waste and pollute the Warner wetland. Based on our survey in 2011, you can expect hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds of cardboard alone, plus fuses, ropes, wires and other material used in the aerial bombs. This does not include any unburned chemicals.

The Mallards tell us that their modest fireworks leaves a remarkable amount of debris in the outfield, which they clean up after each show. Because your fireworks are deliberately aimed over the wetland, we would expect the bulk of the pollution to land there.

We would next recommend that you start your cleanup before dawn. The debris we saw last year was sinking by 6 a.m. We have many pictures on our Web site. The Warner wetland, officially designated by the Department of Natural Resources, contains 60 acres of open water, marsh, cattails, floating sedge and an island. If you are serious about this liability, “a couple of canoes” would not seem enough to clean “all firework debris on land or in the water,” the language in the city contract.

As an American patriot you know that we in the U.S. hold polluters responsible for their actions. As an environmentalist, and supporter of Aldo Leopold’s legacy, you will also recognize the land ethic he founded that even a city park — or as he put it, in A Sand County Almanac, “the weeds in a city lot convey the same lesson as the redwoods.”

The baby fox, whose picture we showed the R&B planning committee May 17, is unaware that his Warner home is not designated a “conservation park.” Ditto the turtles, frogs and mallards that we showed you.

Rhythm & Booms is an assault on both the ecosystem and wildlife of Warner Park, including 117 species of birds, many of them protected by the International Migratory Bird Act. We ask you to stop polluting Warner Park’s wetland.

Sincerely yours,

Jim Carrier, chair
Wild Warner