Cleaning up the coastlines and waterways
Published: Sep 14, 2013
For more than a quarter of a century, volunteers from all over the world have gathered every year along coastlines and waterways to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) and this year is no different, as volunteers throughout The Bahamas are preparing to take part in the Ocean Conservancy’s 28th annual cleanup.
Many people will walk, while others will set out on boats, and thousands more will don scuba gear to seek trash below the water’s surface on Saturday, September 21. The New Providence clean up will take place on Yamacraw Beach behind Stoke’s Cabana from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. The public is invited to join in on the clean up and to wear closed-in shoes. They are also encouraged to bring water, sunscreen and gardening gloves.
“The Bahamas has participated for many years in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup and we will again this year to make a difference to our marine environment,” said Linzi Knowles Belton, education supervisor for Dolphin Encounters on Blue Lagoon Island, the coordinator of ICC in New Providence.
Abaco and Grand Bahama are also participating and are hosting clean ups of their beaches.
In 2012, more than half a million volunteers participated, collecting more than 10 million pounds of trash and covering a distance of nearly 18,000 miles. This year celebrates 28 years of volunteerism for a healthier ocean. As such, it not only makes a powerful statement about global concern for the environment, it also empowers local communities to do something about pollution.
International Coastal Cleanup events in Nassau:
• Yamacraw Beach: Dolphin Encounters — Free bus transportation every 30 minutes starting at 7:30 a.m. from the Marathon Mall or Town Center Mall. Email Meagin Bullard at firstname.lastname@example.org or Linzi Knowles-Belton at email@example.com for more information or to volunteer.
• Dolphin Encounters — Project BEACH will also be hosting month-long Beach Buddies programs with local students. Telephone the education department at 363-7180 extension 303 to coordinate a program.
Friends of the Environment, the International Coastal Cleanup Coordinators for Abaco, is organizing a cleanup on the Ernest Dean Highway on Friday, September 20 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend. Schools, businesses and other community groups are invited to hold cleanups through the months of September and October. Friends will provide trash bags, gloves and data forms. Please contact Cassandra Abraham at Friends of the Environment at 367-2721, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.friendsoftheenvironment.org.
• On Saturday, September 21, volunteers will clean up 13 beaches and shorelines from east end to west from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. The Ministry of Tourism Office in Grand Bahama serves as the Grand Bahama coordinator for ICC. Please call Pauline Wells at 350-8600 or 350-8635 or email email@example.com for more information.
All other islands
• Contact Linzi Knowles-Belton at Dolphin Encounters for information packets on forming your own clean-ups for International Cleanup at 363-7180 ext. 303 or 359-0278 for more or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caribbean Bottling Company, which produces Coca-Cola in The Bahamas, is a continued sponsor of the event providing refreshments for volunteers both in Nassau and Grand Bahama. Coke is the global sponsor for International Coastal Cleanup.
“Coca-Cola and Caribbean Bottling Company are pleased to sponsor International Coastal Cleanup in both New Providence and Grand Bahama as part of our Live Positively philosophy,” said Jennifer Basden, marketing manager for the Caribbean Bottling Company. “Live Positively is our commitment to making a positive difference in our communities by redesigning the way we work and live so that sustainability is part of everything we do forever. Supporting the work of ICC directly impacts three areas of our Live Positively commitments — sustainable packaging, water stewardship and active healthy living. The ICC is the Coca-Cola premier litter abatement partnership and the world’s largest single-day volunteer effort to eradicate litter and debris from beaches, inland waterways and oceans. In its 17th year of support, the company is expecting to contribute 50,000 volunteers across 40 countries,” she said.
Other local sponsors include Aquapure, Bahamas Foam Insulation, Bahamas Waste, Bahamas Wholesale, Bahamas Experience Tours, Chelsea’s Choice, CBC, Department of Environmental Health Services, Dan Knowles Tours, Dolphin Encounters, Johnson’s Charter Service, Leisure Tours, National Coastal Awareness Committee, Signarama Bahamas, Thompson Trading, The Nature Conservancy, T & K Trucking, The Mall at Marathon, Town Center Mall and Waste Not/Cans 4 Kids.
“The International Coastal Cleanup engages people to remove trash and debris from the world’s beaches and waterways, to identify the sources of debris, and to change the behaviors that cause pollution,” said Knowles-Belton. “The event isn’t just about pollution clean-up, it’s about pollution prevention. The event focuses on educating and empowering people to become a part of the marine debris solution. We thank our sponsors for their support and participation and encourage the public to volunteer and participate. As a coastal community keeping our ocean and waterways clean is vital to our environment and way of life. Together we can preserve our coasts.”
To learn more about International Coastal Cleanup, visit www.oceanconservancy.org. For information on the many outreach programs offered by Dolphin Encounters-Project B.E.A.C.H., please call Annette Dempsey at 363-7180 ext. 303 for more or visit www.dolphinencounters.com.