Madis Pihlak of Philadelphia is on a one-man mission to clean Wissahickon Valley Park from any trash that might end up in waterways and endanger sea life, writes Mari A. Schaefer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Pihlak visited the Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach in January with his girlfriend. There he learned that part of the garbage generated by residents across the country ends up in waterways. It then gets mistaken for prey by seabirds, whales, fish, and turtles which results in their stomachs getting filled by plastic causing them to die of starvation.
This galvanized Pihlak into action when he returned to his Blue Bell Hill neighborhood, where the Walnut Lane Bridge crosses above the Wissahickon Valley Park.
“Literally the next morning I walked around the block with a garbage bag,” said Pihlak. “The next day I went under the bridge.”
He now goes out for a few hours two to three times a week to pick up any trash and fills several large contractor bags with plastic, glass, and garbage, which he recycles what he can.
Read more about Madis Pihlak’s mission at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.