Personal Essay: Good stewards

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 8:45pm

If you look up the definition of “steward” in the dictionary you will find several definitions, but the one used most frequently is “someone who manages, protects or is responsible for the property or affairs of another entity”. As good stewards of this planet, we hope to practice good stewardship by protecting and making wise use of our natural resources. As sea level rise looms on the horizon and as storms intensify, the New England coastline has seen major destruction along its shores. Block Island remains but a very small piece in the equation.

The Committee for the Great Salt Pond is engaged in stewardship of the Pond by keeping it clean, ensuring that marine life remains healthy, along with protecting our dunes to prevent a breach between the ocean and the Pond. The swim was started five years ago to create awareness of the Great Salt Pond, a great resource of the Block Island community. This magnificent pond not only provides a place for recreational activities, but a livelihood for the community.

On Saturday, July 27, our fifth annual pond swim took place at Andy’s Way, “The Great Salt Pond Swim – 5.” This swim is limited to 150 swimmers, and in addition to creating awareness of this great resource, this is a fundraiser to supplement our water testing program in the recreational swim area. 109 good stewards took part in the event, ranging in age from 11 to 79.

The weather Saturday morning was perfect — sunshine not much breeze, and as one might say: “It doesn’t get any better than this.” Swimmers were in the water at 11 a.m. for the one-mile swim, which brought people of all swimming abilities together, since this is not a timed event or a race. There were tri-athletes, college swimmers, leisurely swimmers, and those who were there to socialize with their friends, using inner tubes, noodles, snorkels, fins, and kick boards. This has truly become a community event, with an audience of friends and relatives sitting in beach chairs, cheering on the swimmers.

So, you see, you can be a good steward and have fun, all at the same time.

The Great Salt Pond Swim – 6 will take place at Andy’s Way on Saturday, July 25, 2020. You can sign up for the swim at - click 2020 Swim (where you will find a participant packet) - click Register. Registration is also available The registration fee is $60 and on-line registration will open Oct. 1, 2019. See you July 25, 2020 at Andy’s Way.

The Committee for the Great Salt Pond will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019 at 4 p.m. at The Narragansett and is open to the public. The guest speaker will be U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).