Fighting For The Coastlines
As a destination which relies primarily on the beauty of its coastlines, Grand Bahama Island has been the focus of the International Coastal Cleanup, an important initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA).
This year, volunteers were given the opportunity to make a difference in the environmental state of their communities as they collected and analyzed trash found by the ocean's coastline.
The cleanup, which took place on Saturday, September 15th, began at 8:00 am and lasted for a total of two hours to allow both students and corporations time to participate.
Jeffrey Pinder, Sr. Executive, Sustainable Tourism, MOTA, noted that “The number of garbage found along the coastline this year is significantly lower than it was last year. But we had volunteers all the way from West End to McLean’s Town, and so we are grateful.”
Although there was a decline in the number of volunteers this year (due to other school functions and events), approximately 380 persons participated in the island-wide event.
With a total of 3131.9 trash collected, all students were able to celebrate their efforts with a “pep rally” at the newly opened Goombayland Go-Kart and Skating Rink, sponsored by Fast Track Ltd.
Chairman of the Sustainable Tourism Committee, Donald Duncombe, said, “Sustainable Tourism’s role is very important in that we push sun, sand, and sea but if we continue to have the level of garbage and debris on the beaches, we are not going to be able to push that as a product.”
Duncombe added that “A lot of the beaches are suffering from the debris [generated from the island and the debris washed onshore] but as we continue to try to work together with the International Coastal Cleanup project, we will continue to see a better product and results.”
In doing their part to ensure that beaches are kept clean and presentable, the Bahamas National Trust, West End Local Government, Keep Grand Bahama Clean
Committee and several other entities have actively taken initiative by speaking out and taking part in the cleanup.
As the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation is primarily in the business of bringing visitors to the islands and increasing expenditure, the choice to continuously create opportunities for sustainable practices is now regarded as a higher priority.
This year marks the 33rd year that the event has taken place worldwide and all data collected will subsequently be sent to Washington D.C. for documentation.