Funds for removal of hurricane debris along the island’s shores | THE DAILY HERALD

Twelve young adults will be trained in the skills necessary to properly execute the mapping and clean-up.

PHILIPSBURG–Kidz at Sea has received a grant from the second round of the Resources 4 Community Resilience (R4CR) Quick Win Grant Schemes to execute the SXM Coastal CleanUp Project “Making our Coastline Safe and Clean Again – One Bay at a Time”.

  The project will focus on surveying and mapping the bay areas of St. Maarten where debris from Hurricane Irma can still be found. With the assistance of Nature Foundation St. Maarten, one bay will be chosen to execute a clean-up and removal of hurricane debris.

The scuba training allows participants to expand their knowledge of the underwater world.


  To ensure that the project provides as much benefit to the residents as possible, 12 young adults will be trained in the skills necessary to properly execute the mapping and clean-up, including beginner and more advanced diving certifications and basic first aid. In addition to the training and clean-up events, the project will provide educational outreach about the effects of pollution on the ocean and host Discover Scuba Diving events for students who wish to try out diving for the first time.

  “This project is an amazing opportunity to not only improve the health of our ecosystem by removing old hurricane debris, but will also provide a large group of young St. Maarteners with skills and lifetime diving certifications that they could use in future careers,” said Project Coordinator Leslie Hickerson. “Our outreach events will help educate our youth about the importance of safeguarding our natural resources and instil a sense of responsibility to protect our ecosystem.”

The project will provide education about the effects of pollution.


  This project, which launched on July 1, will be completed by December and is a first step towards ensuring that the coastline of St. Maarten is once again free of the signs of the damage from Irma. Due to the extended period the materials have been underwater, they must first be analysed to ensure that there are no negative impacts to the environment during removal.

  Kidz at Sea has worked since 2012 to introduce and train St. Maarten young adults in the maritime sector, giving them the skills and certifications necessary to succeed in the industry. “We are excited to start this project! We see the scuba training as a continuation of our Zero To Hero programme, allowing interested participants to expand their knowledge in the underwater world. We are thankful for R4CR for this opportunity,” said Kidz at Sea board member Lorraine Talmi.

  Kidz at Sea is now accepting applications from St. Maarten residents ages 18-35 who would like to join the SXM Coastal CleanUp team. Participants must be medically fit to dive, able to swim, hold valid medical insurance and have an interest in contributing to the health of the island. Those interested can send an email to

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or WhatsApp +1-721-526-7463 for more information.

  To learn about the outreach events and activities, follow SXM Coastal CleanUp on Facebook and Instagram.

Source: The Daily Herald