350 Volunteers for Nassau Coastal Cleanup Remove 4 tons of Trash

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Young Bahamians working together to clean up the country!

NASSAU, Bahamas  – More than 350 volunteers from all walks of life turned out to participate in the 29th Anniversary of International Coastal Cleanup in New Providence. To date, this global initiative has helped remove over 153 million pounds of marine litter from more than 312,000 miles of coastlines and waterways since it began 29 years ago.

International Coastal Cleanup is the world’s largest one-day volunteer event created to prevent and eliminate pollution of the marine environment. This year, volunteers in New Providence turned out to clean-up beaches and wetlands. The event, which began as a local program in Texas, has gradually expanded to include every major body of water in the world in over 92 countries, including The Bahamas.

“We had an incredible turnout for this year’s cleanup. So many volunteers from the local community, corporate and civic organizations, students and concerned neighbours came out in force to help rid South Beach from more than 11,139 pieces of trash,” said Linzi Knowles-Belton, education supervisor at Dolphin Encounters which is the National Coordinator of International Coastal Cleanup in The Bahamas. “In New Providence, we cleaned South Beach and found everything from mattresses, refrigerators, car parts, construction materials and so much more. Each volunteer was determined and together we made a huge impact. We also sent the message that we don’t want trash to destroy our environment. It took many people working as a unified team to make a real difference and we thank everyone who participated. We hope our efforts will be supported by all by putting trash in its place.” Continued…

International Coastal Clean Up Day – Page Two Volunteers combed the beach, shrubs and mangroves of South Beach for two hours. The top ten debris items collected included glass pieces, glass and plastic beverage bottles, construction materials, picnic items (cups, plates, knives, spoons), food wrappers and containers, caps, lids, paper and plastic bags.

Also participating in the clean up were volunteers from: Anchor Club; Alpha Kappa alpha Sorority Inc.; Bahamas Girl Guide Association; Builders Club H.O. Nash; Rotary Nassau sunrise; Members of Delta Sigma Theta; Dolphin Encounters; Kawanis Club Cable Beach; K Kids; Nassau Brownies; National Society of Black engineers, COB; New Providence Classical School; Ranger Guides; Student Nurse association; Young Marine Explorers, COB; and Inner Wheel of East Nassau.

Students from many schools that participated in the GGYA program or their environmental clubs also took part including students from: Akhepron International Academy; C.C. Sweeting; C.I. Gibson; College of the Bahamas; C.R. Walker; C.V. Bethel Senior High School; Centreville Primary School; College of The Bahamas; Doris Johnson Senior High School; Galilee Academy; Government High School; Gambier Primary; H.O. Nash; Kingsway Academy; Mt. Carmel Preparatory Academy; Oakes field Primary School; Queen’s College; St. Andrews School; St. Anne’s; St. Augustine’s College; St. Cecelia’s; St John’s College; St. Thomas More; Summit Academy; Temple Christian High School; Tippin University and University of the West Indies.

“The students of the GGYA truly embrace this clean up both in Nassau and the Family Islands,” said Denise Mortimer, National Executive Director of the Governor General’s Youth Award Programme. “Part of their responsibility of being a member of the GGYA is to keep the environment clean and to respect our country code which includes leaving an area cleaner than you meet it. By cleaning the beach and learning about the destruction waste causes to our natural resources, they learn the importance of keeping our environment clean.”

After hours of cleaning up volunteers sorted their refuse by type and wrote down their findings on detailed data cards. The data cards will be submitted to the Ocean Conservancy to help them continue to track common types of litter and try to prevent these items from ending up on coasts in the future.

This year’s sponsors for the New Providence event included: Aquapure, Bahamas Foam Insulation, Bahamas Food Services; Bahama Wholesale Agency; Baypak, Bahamas National Trust, Bahamas Waste, Caribbean Bottling Company Bahamas Ltd.; Chilly Willy Ice, Derek Smith Photography; Department of Environmental Health D’Albenas Agency, Dan Knowles Tours, Dolphin Encounters Ltd., Island Cellular, Johnson’s Charter Service, KFC; Leisure Tours, Majestic Tours Agency; Mall at marathon, Rotary; Royal Bahamas Defense Force, Ports International; Scotiabank, Signarama Bahamas; T&K Trucking, Town Centre Mall.

Coca-Cola is the global sponsor of ICC and the Caribbean Bottling Company, the producers of Coke in The Bahamas, sponsored the event in Nassau.

“Coca-Cola has supported ocean and waterways cleanup efforts for 19 years and we are pleased to see the program develop further,” said Walter Wells, President & CEO of Caribbean Bottling Company. “We have committed ourselves to improving the quality of life in the communities where we do business and the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup is a perfect fit for The Bahamas. This event drives home the important message of keeping our environment clean.”

“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 behaviours that cause pollution,” added Robert Meister, Managing Director of Dolphin Encounters. “The event isn’t just about pollution clean-up it’s about pollution prevention. International Coastal Cleanup focuses on educating and empowering people to become a part of the marine debris solution. We thank each and every volunteer and sponsor that participated – you each made a valuable contribution to our environment. 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 and create a “sea of change.”

Dolphin Encounters – Project B.E.A.C.H. holds beach cleanups throughout the year – contact Annette Dempsey at 363-7180 ext. 303 or email education@dolphinencounters.com for more information. Or visit www.dolphinencounters.com.

To learn more about International Coastal Cleanup visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

Ten Top Items Found at South Beach at the 2014 ICC

1. Glass pieces – 1,371
2. Glass Beverage Bottles – 905
3. Beverage Cans – 871
4. Beverage Bottles, plastic – 647
5. Plastic Pieces – 594
6. Plastic, Forks, Knives, Spoons – 576
7. Bottle Caps – 475
8. Cups and Plates – 444
9. Food Wrappers – 444
10. Other Plastic Bags – 430