Jamaicans Urged to Clean Beaches on September 21

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A report from the Jamaica Information Service

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is encouraging the public to show support for a trash-free Jamaica by participating in International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD) 2019 on September 21.

NEPA and the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) have partnered to execute a cleanup exercise at the Barmouth Beach in St. Catherine, starting at 7:30 a.m.

NEPA’s Public Education and Community Outreach Officer, Travis Bartley, told JIS News that the annual observance “is the largest one-day volunteer event globally”.

‘It is a bold display of a group’s ability to unite for a cause greater than any one individual. The beaches are of great value to Jamaica in social, environmental and economic terms. For both NEPA and UDC, preserving our nation’s beautiful beaches helps to provide the best quality of life for the citizens of Jamaica,” he noted.

He pointed out that marine pollution affects the health of marine life, ecosystems, recreational water quality and public health.

“Garbage that ends up in our waters causes damage to reefs, which provide protection and tourism earnings; loss of biodiversity; loss of arable land and decreased agricultural production and the deaths of more than a million seabirds,” he added.

Mr. Bartley told JIS News that more than 400 bags of garbage, weighing in excess of 2,600 kilograms, were collected at the Hellshire Bay Beach in St. Catherine during ICCD 2018.

More than 500 volunteers from different groups, including non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, and secondary and tertiary schools, are expected to participate in this year’s event.

“We will provide the volunteers with resources to effectively participate in the day, and we are inviting you to sign up for ICCD 2019 by September 6,” Mr. Bartley said.

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