Volunteers turn out for International Coastal Cleanup at Las Cuevas Beach
More than 1000 pounds of garbage, including a satellite dish, a water tank, tyres, auto-body parts and furniture, was collected in just under four hours by volunteers at yesterday’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) at Las Cuevas Beach.
Coordinated by the Tourism Development Company (TDC), in collaboration with Protectors of the Environment (POE), the cleanup at Las Cuevas Beach attracted more than 300 volunteers, including schools and teams from the private and public sectors.
Marcia La Borde, TDC’s Manager, Public Affairs, described the turnout as “excellent” and said the morning’s activities were enjoyed by all participants.
“Everyone has a role to play in tourism and initiatives such as the International Coastal Cleanup provide a perfect forum for sensitising the national community on the nexus between being environmentally responsible and a thriving tourism industry,” La Borde said.
Among the volunteers were teams from T&TEC, BGTT, Heroes Foundation, the UWI Biological Society, Providence Girls College and the Ministry of Tourism.
Team BGTT, which found the satellite dish, walked away with special prizes for Most Items Collected (400 pounds) and Most Interesting Item Found.
An international volunteer effort spearheaded by the US based Ocean Conservancy, the ICC campaign aims to remove and record debris collected at beaches and is led locally by the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development (CNIRD).
Under the CNIRD, the National Planning Committee, of which the TDC is a member, was formed to facilitate the active involvement of various stakeholders in the national cleanup exercise. The Committee also works towards building public awareness and promoting behavioural change with respect to indiscriminate solid waste disposal and its negative impact on the marine environment.
This year will mark 10 years of Trinidad and Tobago’s involvement in the global ICC campaign which itself observes its 25th anniversary.