Volunteers clean up from Bequia to Carriacou
October 12, 2007

Volunteers clean up from Bequia to Carriacou

The islands of the Grenadines from Bequia to Carriacou, under the Sustainable Grenadines Project joined forces with St. Vincent and Grenada in a concerted effort to clean up the coastal environment as part of the annual International Coastal Cleanup which took place last month.{{more}}

In Union Island there were approximately 83 volunteers, most of whom were students of the Mary Hutchinson and Stephanie Browne Primary Schools and the Union Island 4-H Club. A total estimated weight of 710 pounds was collected over a distance of approximately 2 miles. There were two main sponsors of the activity: Karib Cable and the Sustainable Grenadines Project.

In Bequia, the effort was supported by over 60 volunteers and was concentrated in three main areas: Port Elizabeth, Spring and Paget Farm. Over 165 bags were collected in the Jeff Gregg area of Paget Farm. Larger items like parts from machines and building materials were lifted directly onto a truck. At Spring and Port Elizabeth, approximately 32 and 12 bags were collected respectively. Most of the garbage retrieved was related to shoreline or recreational activities, which included 943 food wrappers and containers and 805 plastic bottles. Also of concern were the 534 oil/lube bottles collected.

In Mustique, activities began on Friday 21st September, 2007 and were led by the Principal of the Mustique Primary School and Ty Kovach and Simon Humphrey of the Mustique Company, with over 50 volunteers including students and teachers of the primary school, parents and villagers. Three beaches were cleaned producing in total 23 bags with an estimated weight of 69 pounds. The garbage collected in the three areas were mostly related to recreational activities with some dumping from the construction industry being evident.

Canouan undertook to clean up the entire village on Saturday September 22nd. Given the magnitude of that task, no records were kept of the types of garbage collected.

The activity in Mayreau was a great success. It revealed that much of the garbage had their origin at sea in the form of plastics and mainly plastic bottles. They collected 53 bags of garbage weighing approximately 318 lbs from 5 different beaches. The effort was supported by approximately 50 volunteers and was spearheaded by the Mayreau Regatta and Sporting Committee. The villagers also used the opportunity to clean the village.

On Saturday, September 22, 55 volunteers from Petit Martinique, clad in their SusGren cleanup t-shirts cleaned the main beach of Sanchez and the community. The team as part of a greater environmental drive planted over 30 trees. These included coconut, almond, grapes, nymph and seaside mahoe trees. The volunteers were mainly from the Petit Martinique Catholic Youth Movement, community members and volunteers from Carriacou. 45 bags of garbage were collected in this effort which was coordinated by the Carriacou Environmental Committee.

Carriacou was a hive of activity when 160 volunteers descended on seven coastal communities across the island on Saturday September 15th. The cleanup effort was concentrated in Harvey Vale Beach, Bogles, Belvedere, Dover, Limlair, Bayaleau and Windward Beach. Villagers used the opportunity to clean their surroundings, roadsides and to get rid of stockpiled garbage. The boat builders of Windward, the main boat building community in Carriacou got a much need face-lift to their dockyard by burning the remains of old boats and rotting wood.

The dive shops of Carriacou the Padi Aware Project were also engaged in similar activities. For these dive shops, this has become an annual activity. Over 240 garbage bags and 30 large feed bags were collected. This was by no means the extent of garbage collected as stoves, batteries and building materials from hurricane-damaged homes were piled onto trucks.