Record turnout for MoBay’s coastal clean-up

Jamaica Gleaner - - CLASSIFIEDS - Clau­dia Gard­ner As­sign­ment Co­or­diantor

ARECORD 1000-plus vol­un­teers turned out at 10 lo­ca­tions across the Mon­tego Bay coast­line to par­tic­i­pate in clean-up ac­tiv­i­ties on In­ter­na­tional Coastal Clean-up Day, which was ob­served on Satur­day, Septem­ber 17.

The ac­tiv­i­ties were co­or­di­nated by the Mon­tego Bay Marine Park Trust’s out­reach of­fi­cer, Joshua Bai­ley, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with di­rec­tor of youth ser­vices of the Ro­tary Club of Mon­tego Bay, Natasha Parch­ment-Clarke. The vol­un­teers in­cluded stu­dents from pri­mary and high schools and ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions.

“The re­sponse this year was phe­nom­e­nal,” said Parch­ment-Clarke. “The sup­port of lo­cal busi­nesses and the en­vi­ron­men­tal con­scious­ness of the youth com­bined to make this year the largest event to date.

“The fig­ures were be­ing tal­lied whilst I was be­ing in­ter­viewed (on ra­dio) ... and when the num­ber 1,029 was passed to me, I nearly burst out cry­ing! Josh and I had worked re­ally hard lead­ing up to this day and had just kept push­ing for 1,000 vol­un­teers and it hap­pened! We are so ex­cited and de­lighted!” she added.

Clean-up ac­tiv­i­ties spanned from Lil­liput in the east to Read­ing, close to the St JamesHanover par­ish bor­der, in the west.

PLENTY SUP­PORT

The ac­tiv­i­ties were sup­ported by the Ja­maica En­vi­ron­ment Trust and the Tourism En­hance­ment Fund. Other spon­sors in­cluded Se­crets Re­sorts, Sandals Foun­da­tion, DFL Im­porters, Hil­ton, CPJ, Stan­ley’s, Re­gal Bak­ery, Good Hope, Cash­wiz, KPMG, Rain­for­est Seafoods, Chukka, Reef Eco­log­i­cal and Aus­tralian High Com­mis­sion, Ki­wa­nis and Ro­tary clubs, Amer­i­can Air­lines, MBJ and Rose­hall Devel­op­ment.

Parch­ment-Clarke said the largest work­site was the coast­line par­al­lel to the Freeport Main Road, which at­tracted 412 vol­un­teers and saw a to­tal of 3,681 pounds of garbage be­ing re­moved by Na­tional Solid Waste Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity and the Green­wood-based Ja­maica Re­cy­cle Part­ners.

Ac­cord­ing to Bai­ley, the small­est site that was cleaned was per­haps of great­est im­por­tance. He said 20 vol­un­teers, which in­cluded young Blue Mar­lin Swim Club mem­bers and Mon­tego Bay WEST­ERN BU­REAU: THE HANOVER Par­ish Li­brary will host its first-ever work­place mini fit­ness ex­po­si­tion this Thurs­day, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Hanover Health Ser­vices, on the lawns of the li­brary at Wat­son Tay­lor Drive in Lucea.

The event will be held un­der the theme ‘Love Your Body, Treat Your Body Right”. Ac­cord­ing to act­ing re­gional di­rec­tor of the Ja­maica Li­brary Ser­vice, Marvetta Ste­wart-Richards, the day’s ac­tiv­i­ties will also be open to the pub­lic and will in­clude the launch of a fit­ness pro­gramme for the Hanover Par­ish Li­brary net­work, demon­stra­tions, dis­plays and health checks.

“We be­gin at 10 a.m. and will be Mervin Spence (left) of the Ro­tary Club of Lucea keeps a record of the pieces of lit­ter col­lected at the coast­line at Seav­iew Drive in Lucea on In­ter­na­tional Coastal Clean-up Day.

Marine Park-trained scuba divers, cleaned un­der­wa­ter and man­aged to re­move 205 pounds of garbage from the sea.

Statis­tics from the clean-up ef­forts show that more than 11,624 pounds of garbage, 11,474 plas­tic bot­tles, 5,265 plas­tic bags and 2,443 sty­ro­foam con­tain­ers were re­moved from the coastal zone in the clean-up.

“If ev­ery­one re­duced their us­age and dis­posed

of their garbage re­spon­si­bly, beach clean-ups would be­come a thing of the past. Since my first ICC event in 2010, I have stopped us­ing plas­tic ‘scan­dal’ bags and elim­i­nated sty­ro­foam from my life. Daily, I walk with a bag of re­us­able con­tain­ers, bot­tles and bags that I use to make a dif­fer­ence – if ev­ery­one chooses to do one thing, these com­bined ac­tions could have a great im­pact,” Parch­ment-Clarke said.

PHOTO BY CLAU­DIA GARD­NER

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