- coordinates Annual Beach Cleanup!
As the 30th anniversary of Ocean Conservancies International Coastal Cleanup approaches, Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is gearing up for another large scale annual event where hundreds of people gather on an early morning to clean beaches and preserve our oceans. Sint Maarten PRIDE Foundation, the local coordinator of the annual cleanup, is partnering once again with French side nature-based hiking group SXM TRAILS to organize a successful event on Sunday, September 20, at 7:00-10:00am at Bay Nettle Beach. Sponsors this year include KOOYMAN, Heavenly Water, ZEE BEST, Cake House Bakery, and Garnier St. Maarten.
But during the month of September, smaller satellite clean-ups are also conducted at other beaches. Sundial School has signed up to do its part at Great Bay Beach on Saturday, September 19, under the supervision of Teacher Silvia Carty. There is still time for schools, youth groups and faith-based groups to sign up for other beach locations.
One of the largest volunteer events of its kind, the Coastal Cleanup is not only about removing trash, but making a full inventory of trash collected on a special data card. The data is sent on to the Ocean Conservancy to be published in their annual report which can be found on www.oceanconservancy.org
Data is used for making policy, creating awareness, and education on how trash in our oceans and waterways affects the health of our oceans, our health and marine wildlife. How often have we seen the images of plastic bags choking sea turtles? The Coastal Cleanup is one of the best methods to use data to bring about changes in our behaviour as well as lobbying government and companies to create better laws and products suited for a cleaner, healthier environment. On Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, volunteers come from all walks of life, from students in middle and high school, to educators, social groups like Rotaract, Leos, Scouts and Pathfinders, to staff and management of companies.
Medicosmetics staff, distributor of Garnier will be on site at Sunday's cleanup handing out T-shirts, and caps to all volunteers who come out and fill trash bags. All volunteers to September 20's Cleanup are asked to park in the parking lot of Sands and Dreams in Bay Nettle. Wear old sneakers as it is common to walk into the ocean to collect trash. Volunteers who would like to snorkel for trash, can meet Mr. Brooks (long-time snorkeler for the Coastal Cleanup) at the site and arrange with him. Please bring your own snorkel gear.
Sint Maarten PRIDE Foundation and SXM TRAILS extend thanks to the French side collectivite for helping with setup at the site, as they have done for the past years, and the removal of hundreds of trash bags after the event.