Fireworks on our exquisite beach Monday night gave powerful concussive assaults for what seemed to be a very long show.

Tuesday at 6 a.m., the smell of gunpowder lingered, but from a distance the beach appeared clean. As I neared the waterline, though, there were hundreds of tubes and “plugs” left there earlier by the outgoing tide.

Now that the tide was coming in again, the tubes, plugs, plastic casings and other debris would be irretrievable soon. How many more were out in the water, floating or sinking?

I am not inclined to work for a ban on fireworks. But on behalf of most babies and small children, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, dogs, birds, horses and aquatic life, would it be possible for us to quit exploding things on this fragile shore?

The autopsy of that young whale that washed ashore on Rye Beach in New Hampshire last week revealed no visible trauma or other obvious cause of death, according to scientists. It is unlikely that it was suicide or a naturally occurring disease. Maybe the Navy’s sonic blasts? Hot water from the Seabrook nuclear plant? Ingestion of microplastics? Perfluorooctanoic acid?

We cannot keep doing things the way we have always done them. We can choose what we consume and what we dispose of and how we dispose of it.

Next Fourth of July, let’s gather on the beach at 9 p.m. Let’s bring food to share and blankets to sit on. Let’s enjoy the stars in the night sky, our neighbors, our freedom that way. Please call your town offices, your public works departments. Let’s quit fireworks.

Sally Sulloway

York