Anglers have to pay $50 a year to fish at Crookes Point in Great Kills Park in New York.
Lately, it seems it hasn’t been worth the price with trash, dead animals and even needles littering the area.
Crookes Point is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Because it’s a federal parkland, anglers have to pay $50 for an annual permit to fish.
Area anglers say that officials clean up areas visible to tourists, but nowhere else. That includes the popular fishing beach.
The National Parks Service response? They say all areas receive equal attention.
“We want everyone to enjoy our sites and we are working to keep them clean for everyone’s enjoyment. The fishermen are just as important to us as the people using the beach,” says National Park Service spokesperson Daphne Yun, who explains that the organization has a lot of coastal areas to maintain. She says that some stretches are not cleaned up as quickly as people would like.
The problem, according to Yun, is staffing. The Park Service cleans, but there just isn’t enough staff to keep up.
That’s not easy for local anglers to swallow since they pay $50 and end up surrounded by beer bottles, liquor bottles, milk cartons, coffee cups, food wrappers, small Ziploc bags, lighters and tampons.
Fortunately, a nonprofit group called the Sea Wanderers has partnered with the National Park Service to clean up areas of Great Kills Beach. The group works to create a better environment for sea life.
The National Park Service says it depends on such volunteerism.