Volunteers Prepare For International Coastal Cleanup

Wednesday 12th, September 2012 / 22:59 Published by

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Volunteers throughout The Bahamas are preparing to take part in the Ocean Conservancy’s “27th Annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC)” on Saturday, September 15th, 2012.

Every year in September, more than half-a-million people in 100 countries remove millions of pounds of trash from beaches and waterways all over the world. This year celebrates 27 years of volunteerism for a healthier ocean. Over the last quarter-century, the International Coastal Cleanup has grown from a single cleanup on a Texas beach to a worldwide movement to end the threat of trash in our ocean. As such, it not only makes a powerful statement about global concern for the environment, it also empowers local communities to do something about pollution.

“The Bahamas has participated for many years in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup and we will again this year to make a difference to our marine environment,” said Linzi Knowles Belton, Education Supervisor for Dolphin Encounters on Blue Lagoon Island and National Coordinator of International Coastal Cleanup in New Providence. “Last year, many volunteers in New Providence collected tons of trash which is an extraordinary accomplishment.

“This year, we will be focusing on Yamacraw Beach, behind Stoke’s Cabana from 8:00 a.m. until 12 p.m. and we encourage members of the public to join us. Please wear closed-in shoes, bring water bottle, sunscreen and gardening gloves. Abaco and Grand Bahama are also participating and are hosting clean ups of their beaches.”

International Coastal Cleanup Events in The Bahamas:

In Nassau:
*     Yamacraw Beach:
Dolphin Encounters – Project BEACH will host International Coastal Cleanup, Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. – 12p.m. at Yamacraw Beach near Stoke’s Cabana- the public is invited to volunteer and attend. Free bus transportation every 30 minutes starting at 7:30 a.m. from the Marathon Mall. Please wear closed in shoes, sunscreen and gardening gloves. Email Sophia Smith at Sophia.smith at dolphinencounters.com or Linzi Knowles – Belton at linzi at dolphinencounters.com for more information or to volunteer.

*     Dolphin Encounters – Project BEACH will also be hosting month-long Beach Buddies programmes with local students. Please call the education department at 363-7180 extension 303 to coordinate a programme.

*     In Abaco:
Friends of the Environment, the International Coastal Cleanup Coordinators for Abaco, is organizing a cleanup on the Ernest Dean Highway on Friday, September 21st and the public is invited to attend. They invite schools, businesses and other community groups to hold their own cleanups through the months of September and October. FRIENDS will provide trash bags, gloves and data forms. Please contact Olivia Patterson at Friends of the Environment at 242-367-2721 or visit www.friendsoftheenvironment.org.

In Grand Bahama:
*     On Saturday, September 15th, volunteers will clean up 13 beaches and shorelines from east end to west; from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Ministry of Tourism Office in Grand Bahama serves as the Grand Bahama coordinator for International Coastal Cleanup. Please call Pauline Wells at 242-350-8600 or 242-350-8635

All Other Islands
*     Contact Linzi Knowles-Belton at Dolphin Encounters for information packets on forming your own clean-ups for International Cleanup at 363-7180 ext. 303 or 359-0278

Caribbean Bottling Company which produces Coca-Cola in the Bahamas is the major sponsor of the event providing refreshments for volunteers both in Nassau and Grand Bahama. Coke is the global sponsor for International Coastal Cleanup.

“Coca-Cola and Caribbean Bottling Company are pleased to sponsor International Coastal Cleanup in both New Providence and Grand Bahama as part of our ‘Live Positively’ philosophy,” said Donnisha Armbrister, Marketing Manager for the Caribbean Bottling Company. “‘Live Positively’ is our commitment to making a positive difference in our communities by redesigning the way we work and live so that sustainability is part of everything we do – forever. Supporting the work of ICC directly impacts three areas of our Live Positively commitments – Sustainable Packaging, Water Stewardship and Active Healthy Living. The ICC is the Coca-Cola premier litter abatement partnership and the world’s largest single-day volunteer effort to eradicate litter and debris from beaches, inland waterways and oceans.   In its 17th year of support, the Company is expecting to contribute 50,000 volunteers across 40 countries.”

Other local sponsors include: Aquapure, Bahamas Food Services, Bahamas National Trust, Bahamas Waste, Bahamas Wholesale, Bapak, Bahamas Experience Tours, Cans for Kids, Chelsea’s Choice, Chilly Willy Ice, D’Albenas Agency, Dan Knowles Tours, Dolphin Encounters Ltd., Elizabeth Estates Police Station, Island Cellular, John Taylor Trucking, Johnson’s Charter service, Leisure Tours, Lowe’s Wholesale, Majestic Tours, Online Bahamas Weekly, Ports International, Purity Bakery, South Beach Police Station, Thompson Trading, T and K Trash Removal,  Town Centre  Mall, ZNS Community Page, The Mall at Marathon, and The Department of Environmental Health Services.

“The International Coastal Cleanup engages people to remove trash and debris from the world’s beaches and waterways, to identify the sources of debris, and to change the behaviours that cause pollution,” says Sophia Smith, Education Coordinator at Dolphin Encounters. “The event isn’t just about pollution clean-up it’s about pollution prevention.

The event focuses on educating and empowering people to become a part of the marine debris solution. We thank our sponsors for their support and participation and encourage the public to volunteer and participate. As a coastal community keeping our ocean and waterways clean is vital to our environment and way of life. Together we can preserve our coasts.”

To learn more about International Coastal Cleanup visit www.oceanconservancy.org. For information on the many outreach programs offered by Dolphin Encounters-Project B.E.A.C.H. please call Annette Dempsey at 363-7180 ext. 303 for more or visit www.dolphinencounters.com.

Photo Captions:
In New Providence, International Coastal Cleanup will be held on September 15th from 8:00 a.m. until 12 p.m. at Yamacraw Beach. The public is invited to attend.

Recording Data

All items found will be recorded and sent to the Ocean Conservancy which tracks marine pollution around the world. International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer event of its kind in the world. More than half a million people in 100 countries will be participating.

The 2011 International Coastal Cleanup, by the numbers (source the Ocean Conservancy):

*     Nearly 600,000 people (598,076) picked up more than nine million pounds of trash (9,184,427) along over 20,000 miles of coastlines (20,775).

*     Over the past 26 years, more than nine million (9,361,453) volunteers have removed one hundred and fifty-three million (153,790,918) pounds of trash from more than three hundred and twelve thousand (312,290) miles of coastline and waterways in 153 countries and locations.

Volunteers found:

*     Enough clothing (266,997 items) to outfit every expected audience member of the London 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.

*     Enough food packaging (940,277 pieces) to get takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the next 858 years.

*     Enough light bulbs (24,384 bulbs) to replace every light on the Eiffel Tower.

*     Enough beverage cans and glass beverage containers that, if recycled, would net $45,489.15.

In the past 26 years of cleanups, volunteers found:

*     Fifty-five million cigarettes butts, which if stacked vertically, would be as tall as 3,613 Empire State Buildings.

*     Enough glass and plastic bottles to provide every resident of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia a cold beverage on a hot summer day.
*     Enough appliances (125,156) to fill 37,434 single-axle dump trucks.

*     More than 870 thousand (870,935) diapers – enough to put one on every child born in the UK last year.

*     Enough cups, plates, forks, knives and spoons to host a picnic for 2.15 million people.

Ocean Conservancy educates and empowers citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean. From the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico to the halls of Congress, Ocean Conservancy brings people together to find solutions for our water planet. Informed by science, our work guides policy and engages people in protecting the ocean and its wildlife for future generations.

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