On June 10th , Nature Foundation St. Maarten partnered with CC1 St. Maarten and Corona Beer to conduct a successful clean-up at Mullet Bay in honor of World Ocean Day. Nearly 100 people came out to support this worthy cause and collected over 1955.6lbs (887kgs) of litter! Various groups collected over 100lbs of litter per group, with the winning group of 4 people collecting 427.1lbs (193.7kg). The Nature Foundation would like to thank the prize sponsors which included CC1, The Scuba Shop and Ocean Explorers. This beach clean-up is one of the many activities listed under the In-No-Plastic Project that aims to prevent, remove, and repurpose marine plastic litter.
The Nature Foundation conducted this event in partnership with CC1 in line with the In-No-Plastic Project. A consortium of 17 partners and 10 different countries in Europe and the Caribbean make up the project. The Nature Foundation will work alongside the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), a partner participating in the In-No-Plastic project in the development and execution of this project. In-No-Plastic started October 2020 and is a three-year project funded with a 7.4 million Euro grant from the EU H2020 research project, funded under the call “Pilot action from the removal of Marine plastics and litter”, Topic ID: CE-FNR-09-2020 (Grant Agreement 10100612).
Due to the tremendous efforts on behalf of CC1, this event was very successful and greatly benefited the community and environment of St. Maarten. CC1 is one of the biggest distribution companies in beverages, water, liquors, beers, and wine on St. Maarten. CC1 organized the clean-up in partnership with Corona Beer, and donated free beer, water, and pizza to all participants, and three cases of beer as a prize.
Alice Manley, In-No-Plastic Project Coordinator states “This clean-up was a huge success! We were amazed with the support from our community, seeing many new and known faces, and their efforts in collecting as much trash as possible. Many individuals at the clean-up expressed their concerns with how much trash they found, and that they would like to do more for our island. Most of the clean-up participants were under the age of 18, and many had stated that they received presentations from the Nature Foundation at their schools or that they had attended a free Nature Foundation educational event in the past. We are grateful that our education efforts are showing a positive impact in St. Maarten’s youth!”
During clean-ups, the Nature Foundation provides reusable garbage bags, and gloves to all participants to minimize the usage of single-use plastic. The Nature Foundation has many informational flyers and posters that are brought to all clean-ups so that participants can walk away with more information about the unique ecosystem of the island and what we can do to protect it. Foundation staff has been heavily focused on the education aspect of environmental protection including free educational events and school presentations, as well as clean-ups along our coastal areas.
“We are grateful to see the enthusiasm and determination of the participants in this event. We would like to see more St. Maarteners come out to these kinds of events because it’s important to keep our beaches beautiful, clean, and safe for everyone including our wildlife,” said Zakiya Peterson, In-No-Plastic Project Assistant.
Schools, groups, and businesses are welcome to reach out to the Nature Foundation to request a presentation or assistance from the Nature Foundation for any educational activity. These activities could take place in a class, or at another location if requested.
To learn more about this project, you can check out Nature Foundation’s website. You can also follow the Nature Foundation on social media to keep up to date with our work and learn when future clean-ups will occur. If you are interested in joining the Nature Foundation’s volunteer list to receive emails about volunteer opportunities, contact us at email@example.com.