The International Coastal Cleanup 2011 on St.Maarten has closed off and all data has been sent to the Ocean Conservancy’s Washington DC office.
In total, 7 beaches were cleaned and inventoried and one underwater cleanup was conducted with 8 divers.
This years cleanup data shows that our island has to make profound changes with our single use plastic bag habit, 1467 plastic bags were picked up compared to 680 paper bags.
Our negative disposal of glass bottles is evident in the 2111 glass bottles collected at the beaches. Beverage cans came in totaling 1243.
How we treat our beaches with our personal hygiene was evident in the 210 condoms collected, PRIDE foundation volunteers collected 119 condoms at the Belair beach alone.
Beaches on the Eastern side of the island on the Atlantic Ocean saw this year an unprecedented amount of Sargasso Seaweed washing up for months. Volunteers had to maneuver and rake wet Sargassum in order to pick up trash, much of it unidentifiable plastic waste, difficult to identify as the plastic has been in the ocean currents for so long.
Over 794 volunteers participated this year, many of the volunteers were schools and youth groups, as well as various nationality groups that reside on St.Maarten. Total bags were 187 and the total weight was 3,403 kilos.
It is important to note that heavy construction debris collected at Mullet Bay Beach could not be weighed as the items were too large for our weighing scale.
Sint Maarten PRIDE foundation would like to thank each and every volunteer, young and old, who came out and helped us with the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup at Mullet Bay, Great Bay, Guana Bay, Point Blanche Beach,Simpson Bay, Belair Beach and Cupecoy beach. Ocean Explorers and 8 diving volunteers deserve mention as they donated boat, fuel, and diving gear.
PRIDE foundation hereby thanks our main sponsors, Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association and the Sint Maarten Chamber of Commerce.
The International Coastal Cleanup report can be found online at www.oceanconservancy.org. The itemized data helps push for legislation and policy in regards to proper solid waste disposal as well as to highlight much needed behavior change of our people and corporations.
Sint Maarten PRIDE foundation would like to thank the following youngsters who helped with the data compilation; Diptie Budhrani, Ruhan Jay Bora, Sanjay Vanjani and Juliette Veen.