SPTC declares shoreline cleanup campaign a success

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Beach Cleanup Coastal-7Over 30 bags of garbage were collected during the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) Shoreline Cleanup campaign. Held on Saturday, November 2nd, the cleanup begun at Central Park and ended at the beach in front of Victoria House Resort. The cleanup campaign started at 6AM as eager environmentalists came out to show their support and help clean up the beaches of San Pedro Town.

According to the Councilor responsible for Waste Management and Traffic Kenrick Brackett, there was a good turnout for the cleanup, and even though it was a bit chilly in the morning, the work finished quite quickly. “Everyone that came out to help did their part in cleaning up. We had volunteers from several businesses as well. Cleaning up our beaches is an important task because it is a major aspect of our tourism industry. But we want to keep the beaches clean and inviting, not only for tourists, but for our local residents as well,” said Brackett.

Another team of determined environmentalists also took on the task of cleaning up Ambergris Caye’s beaches even under the rainy weather. On Sunday, November 3rd and Monday, November 4th, the Green Reef Society and 12 high school students plus three professors from Collingwood College of Vancouver, Canada, teamed up to clean up a mile of beach within the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park. Joining the initiative was Peace Corps volunteers Christina Chapman and Diana Sanchez, and members of Belize Pro Divers. The beach cleanup was part of a community service project for the students’ of the college. Leading the group was Professor Heather Dow, Senior Science Teacher and Lab Technician for Collingwood College. Over 80 bags of plastic products and non-biodegradable items were collected during the two-day beach cleanup.

Beach Cleanup Coastal-3According to the Green Reef Society, this year has seen the highest amount of marine garbage being washed on the shores of Ambergris Caye, with a record number of driftwood washing up. Most of the garbage on the beach appears to be coming from Central American countries such as Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, and has found its way to the shores of Belize due to heavy rain and flooding.

The SPTC encourages everyone to kindly dispose of their garbage properly, especially on the beach. Marine garbage presents a serious threat to marine life, especially sea turtles who mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, their favorite food. Marine birds, dolphins, and fish are especially prone to tangle in marine garbage. By cleaning up, we prevent such tragedies from occurring.

Kudos to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the entire staff of SPTC, Green Reef, students and professors of Collingwood College and everyone that came out to support the shoreline cleanup campaign.

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