National Focus

Volunteers remove pounds of trash from local beach sites

by: Mia Whylly, News Reporter - Published Thursday, September 24, 2015

The 30th International Coastal Clean-Up proved to be very successful on Grand Bahama as thousands of pounds of garbage was collected by volunteers from several beaches on the Island.

The local beaches were given zone leaders who recorded and weighed the garbage collected by the numerous volunteers.

Schools, Companies, Civic groups and individuals joined forces and assisted in this Clean-Up which inspired national responsibility for the environment while preserving the countryâ s shores. In addition to keeping Grand Bahama clean, data was collected and sent to be analyzed at the Ocean Conservancy in Washington DC., according to Andre Cartwright, Sr. Executive, Ministry of Tourism (MOT).

Jack Hayward Senior High School (JHSHS) was assigned to Fortune Beach and Senior Mistress Afrika Karamo- Miller, Interact Advisor Tanya Sears- Stubbs and Social Studies teacher Robert Nabb accompanied their volunteers.

Stubbs said that she felt the garbage collected was far more than she expected, which she added made the group realize the extent of the pollution on our shores.

" As Interact members we feel it is our duty to keep our Bahamas clean as our future depends on it,"  Stubbs acknowledged.

Daniesha Brown, an Interact member at JHSHS said, "The Clean-Up was a fun experience. I was a bit disappointed by the amount of trash we collected, but I guess that is a good thing. It was good to lend a hand in keeping our beautiful beaches clean." 

Brown confirmed the group worked their way along Fortune Beach for about two hours. "We all wanted to ensure the beach was completely garbage free, and we all took pride in the job we had done when we finished,"  Brown added.

Brown said the majority of the garbage were plastic items and beer bottles, however clothing and shoes were also found and disposed of.

Kyle Kelly, Headboy at JHSHS and member of the school's Interact Club shared that he was not expecting as much garbage to be on the beach, and added "it was a good experience and I was happy to help with the collection of the garbage." 

Gail Woon, EarthCare Founder and Zone Leader for Gold Rock Beach worked with the students of Lucaya International School (LIS) at the Lucayan National Park. Woon confirmed a grand total of 277 pounds of marine debris was collected, recorded and bagged for collection in that area.

The teachers from Lucaya International School, Nicole St. Pierre and Ben Power who coordinated their school volunteers shared how pleased they were with the turnout in light of the inclement weather Grand Bahama had been experiencing.

Woon confirmed that, like at Fortune Beach most of the marine debris found was from fishing and plastic items. Other items collected included paper and plastic bags; beverage bottles, cans, caps and lids; cups, plates, forks, knives, spoons, food wrappers/containers, straws, stirrers, shoes, rope, oil fishing line, plastic sheeting/tarps, crates, cigarette filters, cigar tips, tobacco packaging wrappers, and syringes noted the Zone Leader.

Woon expressed her commendation for the excellent coordination of this year's Clean Up by Cartwright and his team from the MOT. "Without their care and coordination these very important global annual data collection days would not be possible,"  Woon acknowledged.

At each beach the volunteers filled out the data cards which will be returned to The Ocean Conservancy in Washington, D.C. where the information will be compiled into a report of the state of marine debris throughout the entire globe, Cartwright explained.

Grand Bahama Island has been participating with The Ocean Conservancy through the Ministry of Tourism for over 30 years, the MOT Sr. Executive and Clean-Up organizer furthered.

All of the zones have not submitted their total poundage of garbage, however Cartwright confirmed the MOT's gratitude for the help given by all the volunteers.


Published  Thursday, September 24, 2015

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