Participants in the clean-up with some of the trash collected.
PHILIPSBURG–Members of the Dutch Representation Offices of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten picked up 460 pounds of trash from the Mullet Bay beach during a clean-up organised by Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC).
The clean-up was part of a two-day programme for the annual joint meeting of the three offices, which focuses on team-building amongst their members. Other activities included in the programme were presentations about common heritage by archaeologist Jay Haviser, a discussion about the current economy by St. Marten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) and an island tour.
EPIC’s Grant and Office Manager Tanya Power-Stevens kicked off the clean-up by talking about the current projects in which EPIC is involved, such as the mapping and maintenance of hiking trails, research into the economic value of Simpson Bay Lagoon and a number of environmental education activities.
The 24 participating members of the Dutch Representation were asked to collect and sort the waste so that it could be recycled at Meadowlands.
“We are always happy to show our colleagues from the other islands the beauty of St. Maarten. However, a beach clean-up like this reminds us that there is also a lot to be done. We commend EPIC for their continued work aimed at improving the environment on our island and in the region,” said Head of the Dutch Representation Office in St. Maarten Chris Johnson.
At the end of the clean-up Johnson presented EPIC board members with a donation on behalf of the Dutch Representation Offices to go towards its many environmental efforts.
“EPIC is grateful for the continued support of its programmes by the Dutch Representation office in St. Maarten. The clean-up held this past week once again underscores the importance of the environmental education and outreach programmes aimed at encouraging the general public to dispose of their waste responsibly as well as the need for St. Maarten to implement comprehensive waste management systems and strategies,” said EPIC board member Rueben Thompson.