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Vincentians participate in annual International Coastal Clean-up

Vincentians participate in annual International Coastal Clean-up

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Organizers and participants in the annual International Coastal Clean-up have expressed their appreciation for the number of persons who turned out to the event two weekends ago, and are looking forward to greater turnout for future events.{{more}}

Joan Ryan, Public Relations Officer of the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA), this country’s coordinator of the event, said that volunteers turned out in their numbers at a number of venues, mostly coastal.

“The clean-up had generated more persons than before,” Ryan informed SEARCHLIGHT. “In some cases, entire communities turned up,” she said.

Ryan said that on the weekend of September 14, beaches and coastal areas in more than ten areas, including Richmond, Rose Place, Canash, Bridgetown, Biabou, Lower Questelles and Colonarie, were cleaned by community groups, students from primary and secondary schools and church groups.

She noted that there was a particular increase in children and teenagers taking part in the exercise, which was expected to continue last weekend.

“We are pleased to see the involvement of schools and environmental clubs participating in the clean-ups. This is an encouraging sign.”

According to Ryan, Fancy, Sandy Bay, Byrea, Green Hill/Fenton, Owia, Barrouallie, Rose Bank and Arnos Vale (behind the Arnos Vale Playing Field) are among some of the areas which were cleaned last Saturday.

Last Tuesday, members of the Richmond Vale Academy visited SEARCHLIGHT to express their gratitude for the turnout and participation in the North Leeward area on September 15, where volunteers, estimated to be over 100, and made up of mainly youngsters from the area, played their part.

“Because of the turnout, we were able to do clean-up on the Richmond, Chateaubelair, and Fitz Hughes beaches,” said Stina Herberg, head teacher at the Richmond Vale academy. “I think it is an example for the whole country to show how Chateaubelair goes ahead and decided that they are going to remove the trash.”

Herberg, accompanied by Selwyn Patterson, a teacher at the school, and recent student Natalia Areia, said that over 50 bags of garbage, along with white trash, old boats and vehicle tires, were removed from the beaches and taken to the dump site at Belle Isle.

Patterson said that the coastal clean-up has been made a part of the school’s Climate Compliance Conference, a 10-year programme geared towards sustainable environmental consciousness.

Herberg used the opportunity to thank the CWSA for coordinating the event on a national level, and also individuals and groups in the North Leeward community for their assistance.

She hinted that the group may embark on similar exercises throughout the course of the year, in order to combat the garbage problem on the coastlines.

“We may not wait until next year, because plastic is dangerous, plastic is toxic; it’s killing the life in the sea and it is important that we protect the lives in the sea. It takes plastic a thousand years to degrade; it doesn’t go away, so to remove this plastic and all this trash is so crucial”(JJ)

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