Volunteers of the International Coastal Clean-up with the collected trash and their certificates. (Hannah Madden photo)
ST. EUSTATIUS–A week of marine-focused activities with youth Ambassador Sade Deane, facilitated by Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute (CNSI), culminated in an International Coastal Clean-up which was organized on Saturday.
The clean-up took place on Zeelandia beach, which is an important nesting site for sea turtles and coastal habitat for (migratory) shorebirds and seabirds.
The event was organized by CNSI in connection with a visit by their second youth ambassador Sade Deane. Deane is the National Coordinator of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) in Barbados and coordinates the country’s annual International Coastal Clean-Up, the largest beach and waterways clean-up on the island. The premier clean-up is done over a month which allows the participation and engagement of other youth and regular citizens.
During her engagement with students on St. Eustatius, Deane encouraged young people to participate in the clean-up.
A total of 21 enthusiastic volunteers joined the event from 7:00am to 9:00am. Persons were split into small groups and given a data card, as well as garbage bags, gloves and water. All the items collected were documented on the data card, which was split into different categories, such as various plastic items, Styrofoam, fishing debris, metal cans, personal-hygiene items and much more.
In just two hours the group collected 22 bags, a total of 193 pounds of man-made debris from a small section of the beach. One young participant Enzo Walther picked up an impressive five large garbage bags worth of trash.
Such manufactured items remain in marine environments for 10 or hundreds of years, and plastic debris is broken down into tiny fragments called microplastics which are then ingested by marine life.
The debris was picked up and disposed of appropriately by Jeffrey Lewis of St. Eustatius Waste Solutions, who also participated in the clean-up with his family. All volunteers received a certificate of participation.
CNSI project leader Hannah Madden and Ambassador Deane said they were “delighted” with the response from the public, especially the young people with whom Deane had interacted all week.
“Seeing students with whom we engaged earlier this week means the lessons had a positive impact on those who joined today and that makes all our efforts worth it,” said Madden.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/70663-zeelandia-coastal-clean-up-yields-193-pounds-of-trash