bmobile teams up for 2017 International Coastal Cleanup
Port of Spain, Trinidad, September 18, 2017
Over 740 pounds of garbage was gathered along Marianne Beach in Blanchisseuse on Saturday morning, as volunteers from bmobile teamed up with the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) and the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), for the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC).
Approximately 80 persons comprising of staff members, family and friends from these organisations, alongside hundreds of other local enthusiasts (at different locations) and millions throughout the globe, helped promote ocean conservation on this day.
Vice President of Marketing at TSTT, Camille Campbell, commended those who came out in their numbers to assist in the ICC activity.
“The way that our volunteers, their friends and family members rally each year for this activity is inspiring. Kudos to all those who gave up their Saturday morning to contribute to such an important initiative. Our seas are crucial to our existence, so collaborative efforts such as these are of tremendous value,” noted Campbell.
Staff gathered from as early as 6:00 a.m. to make their way to the scenic northern coastline. Volunteers, young and old alike retrieved, separated and packaged a significant amount of trash into four groups; plastic, glass bottles, cans and miscellaneous items.
bmobile Brand Ambassador, Dwayne Bravo, was on hand to support the beach clean-up following his hectic but victorious Trinbago Knight Riders Caribbean Premier League T20 campaign.
“Both locals and tourists come to this beach and it’s good to see that bmobile has taken the lead when it comes to the upliftment of the country. For me personally, I saw it fit to come and support these volunteers, who took time out to help make this country a cleaner place, for all of us to enjoy. I’m also happy to see many kids out here today assisting in this effort to preserve our environment,” he stated.
Also part of the bmobile contingent was volunteer Nicole Lee, who was accompanied by her adolescent son. They worked steadfastly to help remove copious amounts of waste items which directly threaten the country’s vegetation and coastal waters.
Lee commented on the alarming amount of garbage encountered on Marianne Beach, which is a popular nesting site for protected leatherback turtles. “It’s very interesting to see what is being left on our beaches; we found clothing, cigarette butts, cans and bottles of all shapes and sizes. I brought my son for him to witness for himself the different things that people leave behind after coming to such a beautiful place. It was a very eye-opening experience for us. The turtles are also in danger due to the amount of rubbish present here today so we’re pleased to do something positive,” she explained.
The ICC initiative, held annually on the third Saturday in September, was coordinated on a worldwide scale by Ocean Conservancy Office of Pollution Prevention and Monitoring, and presented—in its 13th year locally—through the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development (CNIRD).
ICC Country Coordinator (T&T) and CNIRD Executive Director, Marissa Mohammed, was proud to reveal that Saturday’s proceedings at Marianne Beach and other locations worldwide assisted in creating the largest volunteer marine cleanup. Mohammed indicated, “Altogether, we did work at 25 sites throughout Trinidad and Tobago. It’s not a regular cleanup because we try to sort (the items) as soon as we pick up, then collect the data. The data is used most importantly to influence policy and legislation worldwide. It also helps with country policies, studies and academia and of course to influence behavioural change. There is clearly a lack of persons disposing of rubbish correctly in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Institute of Marine Affairs Information Officer, Krystal Ganaselal, was shocked to see the amount of trash collected in just over a 500 metre distance. However, she was happy that the IMA continued to play an active role in ensuring the cleanliness of the nation’s beaches and raising awareness among citizens regarding their actions on the environment.
“We want to promote behavioural change and it is clear that the impact of littering is drastic,” said Ganaselal.