Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Hundreds of Belizean wavemakers participate in country-wide effort to remove debris and garbage from waterways and coastline


On Saturday, September 28th, 2019, more than 1,500 of Oceana’s wavemakers and volunteers participated in the 29th annual nation-wide cleanup led by the Belize Scouts Association and supported by other organizations and schools to remove trash and debris from river banks, waterways and beaches. Wavemakers, armed with biodegradable garbage bags and gloves, removed trash from coastal areas of Belize City, Punta Gorda, Independence, Hopkins, Corozal, and along riverways in Orange Walk and San Ignacio.

Most commonly collected items were plastic bags, Styrofoam products, straws, bottle caps, plastic utensils and alumimum wrappers – to name a few, including a number of unusual items such as a deceased juvenile hawksbill turtle and even balls of hair.

“Beyond having an immediate impact on local waterways, cleanups are an important way of raising awareness”, stated Janelle Chanona, Vice-President of Oceana. “It is entirely possible to break our single-use plastic and Styrofoam habit. These items are hurting the health of everything we depend on economically. By supporting the companies offering reusable and biodedragable options, we can create a cleaner, healthier Belize.”

Belize joins over 100 other countries as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the largest global volunteer effort to collect and document the trash littering coastlines. This year’s theme, “Fighting for Trash Free Seas”, highlights the scale of ocean trash, particularly plastic, which not only pollutes our waterways and coastlines, but negatively impacts marine life and our physical well-being. Every article of trash collected, is recorded and the information sent to the Ocean Conservancy to document the state of marine litter in Belize along with the more than 100 other countries that participated and continue to have cleanups over the course of the next month.

In 2018, Belize removed over 13,000 lbs of trash from it’s waterways and coastline.

Oceana thanks all wavemakers and volunteers for doing their part to ensure a clean and healthy ocean free of trash.

Belizean Wavemakers are part of the more than a million Oceana members that support the protection and restoration of the world’s oceans.

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