With almost 140 projects registered for International Coastal Clean-up Day on September 20, local organisers, the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), is expressing pleasure at the response of Jamaicans to the activity.
Programme Co-ordinator at JET, Suzanne Stanley, told JIS News that the support for this year’s coastal clean-up campaign has been better than projected.
“It’s quite an overwhelming response. Last year we had 82 sites that carried out clean-ups so we aimed this year for 100 and we are now at 138,” she said.
She noted further that just under 9,000 persons have already registered to participate in the day’s activities, which is a 4,000 increase over last year’s numbers.
“We had to stop registering because we didn’t order enough material. We are sure that this number will go up before the day,” Ms. Stanley said.
She informed that JET works in partnership with the United States-based Ocean Conservancy, which provides material and equipment to be used on the day.
She said that the costal clean-up will not be limited to land-based activities as there will be underwater cleaning as well.
“We have 11 underwater clean-ups happening. We have Sandals Resorts International on board and they are assisting us with dives to do the underwater clean-ups. We also have the Marine Park and Marine Lab which will be participating,” she informed.
Also included this year is the cleaning of rivers and gullies. “Remember, a lot of the material that washes up on the beaches are coming from land by way of the rivers and gullies, so in an effort to stop it before it gets to the coast, we include those locations as well,” Ms. Stanley said.
She is encouraging persons to give of their time and volunteer to work on a project as the potential spin-off is very rewarding. She said the clean-up is also a great team building exercise that protects marine life, the ecology and “gives a fresh face to the environment in which we live”.
Ms. Stanley told JIS News that close to 100 countries participate in International Coastal Clean-up annually, and with the increase in support this year, Jamaica could place among the top 10 countries in terms of volunteer participation.
“Last year, the number 10 rated country registered 8,000 volunteers…if we can register…9,000 this year then we’d definitely fall into the top 10 category in terms of the volunteer turnout across the world,” she argued.
Persons can visit JET’s website at www.jamentrust.org to see all the projects that have been registered, their locations, communities within which they fall and the persons or groups that organized the activity.