Dajour Richards, who is attached to the Ministry of Marine Resources, joined the diving team this year and noted how surprised he was about the volume of garbage collected.
“We went out to try and clean up the ocean and we found a lot of plastic bottles, debris and other stuff. We want to bring attention to the general public that the beach cleanup is an important thing because in recent years the garbage has been accumulating tremendously and it is impacting the fish [population] and coral reefs,” he said. “So we just want people to come out every year and support the coastal cleanup because we need to cut down on the garbage tremendously.”
Eunika Williams, first form student of the Cayon High School, said her time at the cleanup was fun and educational.
“I had a fun time at the beach because we were helping to [beautify] the environment by picking up the garbage such as glass and plastic bottles, bottle caps and other stuff,” she said while thanking the Department of Environment for the opportunity to assist in making the beaches clean.
A fifth form student of the Washington Archibald High School, Kavita Fredericks, shared similar sentiments. She noted that it was a new experience for her as a first-time volunteer. She expressed her disgust at how littered the Friar’s Bay area was and called on the general public to keep St. Kitts and Nevis clean, in particular the beaches.
Dajaun Jacobs, a third former of Verchilds High, said that his team encountered some difficulties because the Conaree Beach area in which they cleaned demanded them to venture through the bushes where they found a lot of garbage. He added, however, that it was a good experience overall.
Lynelle Bonaparte, Teacher at the Cayon High School, expressed thanks and appreciation to the Department of Environment, noting that the initiative was a well-received one.
“I am happy that the students were involved in cleaning up the beach. We had to clean Key’s Beach and I wish that there were more Key’s students to clean up the beach to see the amount of garbage that came from the Key’s area. So, next time we are going, I will encourage my school to bring more Key’s students to help clean up the beach,” she said, emphasizing the need to take pride and ownership in one’s community.
The Department of Environment continues to host the Coastal Cleanup in an effort to bring awareness about the consequences and issues related to litter and marine debris. It is part of a wider international event hosted every September by Ocean Conservancy, an international organization based in Washington, D.C. However, the national event, which is always slated annually for the last Friday in September, was rescheduled due to inclement weather.