By Monique Washington
As part of a world-wide effort to improve the environment, more than 220 volunteers, 80 of which were youngsters and teens, scoured the Nevis coastline on Sept. 24 picking up debris and trash in from the beach. The event was part of a global initiative by the Ocean Conservatory and Nevis Historical and Conservation Society.
On Saturday morning 4,200 pounds of trash were removed from 17 land-based and one water-based sites. Removed items included clothes, nets, fishing lines, foam food containers and a huge number of plastic bottles. One group reported collecting 210 plastic bottles in less than one-quarter mile of coastline. In 2015, more than 3,300 pounds of litter was collected from the coastline. Volunteers covered more than 10 miles and collected 21,000 pieces of debris and trash. After the cleanup, a picnic was held for volunteers at Coconut Grove.
The International Coastal Cleanup initiative began 31-years ago under the sponsorship of the Ocean Conservatory. For 24 years hundreds of volunteers have flood the Nevis coastline to participate. The cleanup was held around-the-world on Sept. 17, but in St. Kitts and Nevis the effort took place Sept. 24 to avoid conflicting with National Heroes’ Day (Sept. 16) and the Independence Celebration (Sept. 19).
Nevis Historic and Conservation Society President Devon Liburd told The Observer on Saturday he was delighted with the volunteer’s effort during the cleanup, especially children’s participation.
“The effort was great, I am so happy that Nevis Historic and Conservation Society can was able to coordinating this effort with the Nevisian public for the 24th year,” Liburd said. “I must congratulate the volunteers, the groups and organizations that helped out.”
“I am very pleased to see the number of young people and children who were present,” he continued. “I hope our effort will leave a lasting mark on their minds as to what they did and the reason behind what we are doing. I hope our effort helped make a global impact.”
Liburd urged everyone to stop the “irresponsible “disposal of trash as it will affect neighboring islands and urged other islands to be mindful of the effects irresponsible disposal can cause.”
“We dispose of our garbage irresponsibly and our friends in St Kitts, St Marten and St Bart’s will have to clean up after our irresponsible behavior,” he said.