Volunteers remove 769 pounds of trash on World Oceans Day | THE DAILY HERALD

Fifty dedicated volunteers cleared litter from Great Bay Beach, Little Bay Beach and Simpson Bay Lagoon.

PHILIPSBURG–On Tuesday, PlasticFreeSXM, Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) and the Nature Foundation jointly announced the successful removal of 769 pounds of trash during World Oceans Day clean-ups on June 8. This significant achievement was made possible by the hard work of fifty dedicated volunteers, who cleared litter from Great Bay Beach, Little Bay Beach and Simpson Bay Lagoon.

The waste collected included a variety of items such as plastic bottles, fishing lines, Styrofoam cartons, soda cans, bottle caps and plastic straws. Volunteers also encountered unusual debris like an abandoned baby stroller and broken beach chairs. At Little Bay Beach, signs of illegal dumping were evident, with scattered construction materials and car parts. Particularly alarming was the significant amount of plastic waste found in the mangroves at Simpson Bay Lagoon, highlighting the severe impact on marine life and beach health.

Nature Foundation Manager Leslie Hickerson, who led the clean-up at Simpson Bay Lagoon, expressed gratitude for the support received: “In the challenging mangrove areas of Simpson Bay Lagoon, Tri-Sport’s support was crucial. They generously donated kayaks free of charge and provided their guide, Pablo, who conducted safety briefings and guided volunteers to hard-to-reach areas. Additionally, IGY Marina’s tenders, led by Captains Etienne Lake, Dave Sorrel and Delroy Givans, played a key role in assisting our volunteers, enabling efficient debris collection across the lagoon. We managed to remove 25 bags of trash and debris from the mangroves.”

Fleur Hermanides, EPIC Board President, praised the volunteers’ dedication, stating, “Our volunteers showed remarkable commitment to environmental conservation, investing their time and efforts to clean our coastline and protect our natural resources.”

Special acknowledgment was given to Caribbean General Contractors (CGC) for their generous donation of bins at the Simpson Bay and Belair locations, which played a crucial

role in managing and properly disposing of the collected waste.

This year’s World Oceans Day clean-up highlighted the profound impact of collective action in combating plastic pollution and litter. PlasticFreeSXM expressed gratitude to each volunteer, community member and partner organisation for their dedication and hard work. The team looks forward to future clean-ups and collaboration with additional sponsors interested in supporting environmental initiatives.

The event was a collaborative effort involving Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC), Nature Foundation St. Maarten and PlasticFreeSXM, a project executed by the St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) on behalf of the government of Sint Maarten. PlasticFreeSXM is supported by the Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity RESEMBID programme, a 47-project initiative funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France, the development cooperation agency of the government of France. This initiative supports sustainable human development efforts in 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

For more information, contact Melanie Choisy at SMDF at (721)543-7711 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/volunteers-remove-769-pounds-of-trash-on-world-oceans-day