Coastal cleanup on Nevis scheduled for Oct. 14

On Oct. 14, 22 groups of volunteers will set off to clean 22 beaches during Nevis’s involvement in the International Coastal Cleanup Day. The cleanup is scheduled for 7 a.m. to noon at various locations throughout the island.

Volunteers and social groups will join the NHCS members to clean the debris from wide stretches of shorelines, borders and other popular areas in an effort to reduce significant debris from entering our oceans.

Pauline Ngunjiri, acting director of the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society, said Wednesday that the cleanup in Nevis is hosted by the NHCS and had to be postponed from Sept. 23 to the new date of Oct. 14 because of the passage of both hurricanes Irma and Maria in September and the high waves crashing on the coastline.

The Annual International Coastal Cleanup was held around the world Sept. 16, but in St. Kitts and Nevis, the effort had already been rescheduled to avoid conflicting with National Heroes’ Day Sept. 16 and the Independence Celebration Sept. 19.

Ngunjiri noted that all interested volunteers can sign up at the Alexander Museum in Charlestown up until Oct. 6. Volunteers will receiver gloves, a clip board, bags and a data sheet to record collected items. These items should be picked up at NHCS in Charlestown no later than Oct. 13. A picnic lunch will be held at noon at Oualie Beach for all volunteers.

This year marks the 25th year Nevis has been involved with the International Coastal Cleanup initiative, which began 32 years ago under the sponsorship of the Ocean Conservatory. Last year, more than 4,200 pounds of trash were removed from one water-based and 17 land-based site, including 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.

According to the International Coastal Cleanup site, nearly 12 million people and counting have been part of the world’s biggest volunteer effort to protect the ocean. “Today, plastic has been found in 62 percent of all sea birds and in 100 percent of sea turtle species,” its website reported. “A problem as big as plastic in the ocean requires a big response! By participating in the International Coastal Cleanup, you can make a difference.”