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Community Last Updated: Sep 23, 2018 - 12:09:16 PM

Hundreds of volunteers in Nassau turn out for International Coastal Cleanup
By Kelly Meister
Sep 19, 2018 - 11:19:49 PM

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Volunteers are all smiles after the cleanup

Nassau, Bahamas: Several hundred volunteers turned out in a team effort to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup that took place in Nassau at South Beach on Saturday, September 15th.

 “It was heartening to see many volunteers from the local community, corporate and civic organizations, students and concerned neighbours come together and remove so much marine debris from the shoreline, beach and mangroves at South Beach,” said Te-Shalla Clarke, Education Supervisor for Dolphin Encounters on Blue Lagoon Island and Coordinator of ICC in New Providence. “We each had the same goal – to send the message that we don’t want trash to destroy our environment. It took many people working together to make a real difference. We hope our efforts will be supported by all who use the beach and parks by putting trash in its place.”

Volunteers combed the beach and mangroves for two hours clearing the area of debris. Items found during the cleanup included over 600 pieces of plastic, picnic items (cups, plates, knives, spoons), beverage cans, food wrappers and containers, and glass beverage bottles (more than 500), caps, lids, paper and plastic bags, and car parts. More than 5,000 items were removed from the area including 17 appliances and even a stripped down car.

Team Coca-Cola (L-R) Brian Cartwright, Gabriella Suighi, Mr. Pugsley, Nikia Wells and Steven Treco

Thanks to volunteers around the world, the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC)®  has become a beacon of hope, leading and inspiring action in support of our ocean. Many walk, others set out on boats and thousands more don scuba gear to seek trash below the water’s surface. Last year, nearly 800,000 people from more than 100 countries, picked up more than 20.5 million pounds of trash along 25,188 miles of coastline. More than 8 million tons of plastic waste flow into the ocean every year. That’s the equivalent of one dump truck full of plastic every minute, every hour, every day going into the ocean.  Marine debris and ocean plastic doesn’t just foul our beaches and coastlines, it also impacts more than 800 species of marine life.

In Nassau, wide array of volunteers turned out in force to participate including: The Governor General Youth Award Programme (GGYA), B.R.E.E.F.; Royal Bahamas Police Force; Police Cadet Group; Bahamas Girl Guides; Bahamas National Trust; Boy’s Brigade; Rotary Sunrise Club, Rotary Sunset; Rotaract UB; Full Life Outreach Center; Coca-Cola – The Caribbean Bottling Company; The Nassau Guardian, Ministry of Education; The Interact Club; Team Blue Lagoon island, Home of Dolphin Encounters; as well as many residents of South beach.

Team St. Anne's at the International Coastal Cleanup

Students from many schools that participated in the GGYA program or their environmental clubs took part in the cleanup including students from: Queen's College; Aquinas College; Akhepran International Academy; Saint Anne's; Jordan Prince Williams; CW Saunders; Hope Academy; HO Nash Junior High; Kingsway Academy; Sadie Curtis; SC Mcpherson; CW Saunders; Saint John's; Sybil Strachan Primary; Doris Johnson Senior High; RM Bailey; Claridge Primary; Saint Andrews International School; Columbus Primary and Aquinas.

This year’s sponsors for the New Providence event included: Caribbean Bottling Company, Bahamas Experience Tours, Bahamas Waste Ltd., Lowe’s Pharmacy; Nassau Agencies Limited; Department of Parks and Beaches; Randy C and Hot 91.7 FM; Bahamas Wholesale, Super Value; Blue Lagoon Island; Dolphin Encounters – Project BEACH the Ocean Conservancy and T and K Trash Removal.

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 20 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.”

Volunteers take to the beach and mangroves to clean up South Beach During ICC

“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 Ms. Clarke of Dolphin Encounters – Project BEACH. “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 each and every volunteer and sponsor that participated. 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.”

Dolphin Encounters – Project Beach holds beach clean ups throughout the year - contact Annette Dempsey at 363-7180 ext. 303 for more information. Or visit www.dolphinencounters.com. To learn more about International Coastal Cleanup Day visit www.oceanconservancy.org.  


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