ABSECON — Photographer Derrick Logan is always on the lookout for a great shot, and he found it about a week ago on Route 30 — along with what has become a makeshift dump along the bay.
Logan’s discovery has prompted Absecon officials to call on the state Department of Transportation to clean up the trash-filled area they say the agency is responsible for maintaining.
The view of Atlantic City’s skyline across the water is a jarring contrast to the piles of trash and debris at this site, about one mile west of Atlantic City.
“Imagine I come out here to shoot a sunrise, and I turn around and see all this trash left here. It’s horrible. Who does this? This is definitely a mood killer,” Logan said as he clutched his camera and pointed to the piles of trash.
Logan, of Galloway Township, began photographing the trash in the area and posting the images on his Instagram and Facebook pages. The response from his followers was overwhelming, he said.
“People were disgusted by it. And like me, they want something done,” he said.
Beer and water bottles, cardboard, garbage bags full of trash and other debris infests the brush along the site, which is also a popular fishing spot for locals. Tuesday afternoon, a small group of men fished and used a seine net in the water near the debris-covered shoreline.
Logan, 33, said Tuesday the site has looked worse during the past week, but just the other day the tide was taking the piles of trash out into the sea.
Logan said he has wanted to complain to someone about the conditions in the area, but he was confused as to who is responsible for the property.
“I am getting a group of people to come out here and clean this up, but we can’t be responsible to keep coming out here. The least they could do is put trash cans out here,” he said.
Absecon Mayor John Armstrong said the state Department of Transportation has historically shirked its duties of maintenance and cleanup on Route 30, and it continues to be a battle.
The trash-filled area is clearly the DOT’s responsibility, Armstrong said. The city will now be calling on DOT to clean up the area, Armstrong added.
“I don’t think they do cleanups out on Route 30 as often as they need to, and frankly, it’s needed because motorists on the road are throwing stuff out of their cars. And with bags of trash out there, that means there is illegal dumping going on,” Armstrong said.
Most recently, the city called on the DOT to address overgrown vegetation in the roadway island areas that Armstrong said was unsightly. The agency trimmed the medians, but cleanup and this kind of response by DOT has become periodical, he said.
DOT spokesman Stephen Schapiro said maintenance crews will be sent to the area this morning to investigate and inspect the conditions.
“We don’t have any facilities out there or residents living there,” Armstrong said. “The police patrol it along with the motels in those areas. We have some issues with those hotels and sketchy activity. Other than that, it’s a state road and we don’t have any oversight in the area, frankly.”
Absecon police Chief David K. Risley said the department has not responded to any criminal activity in the area, and the majority of visitors are crabbing and fishing.
Risley said as a result of observation by officers on regular patrols, he knows there are dumping and littering issues in the area.
“There are no trash cans out there and these people who spend the day crabbing should be taking their trash with them, but unfortunately, they don’t,” Risley said. “Some people do bring trash bags, but I think most of the time they bring trash bags, fill them up and leave them.”
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