Vincentians are being encouraged to head to their favourite beaches this Saturday and join in cleaning them.
This Saturday, Sept. 17, is being observed as International Coastal Cleanup day, the brainchild of Ocean Conservancy, an international group that encourages coastal communities and members of the public to help to clean beaches.
In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) will participate in the activity on Sept. 24. Their efforts will focus primarily in North Leeward, where the academy is located.
Rose Hall resident, Selwyn Patterson, a teacher at RVA, said the institution will join with community, sports and cultural groups in Richmond, Chateaubelair, Rose Bank, Troumaca and Cumberland to clean up the beaches in those areas. Patterson, who teaches Vincentian history and project management at RVA, said that it is important that Vincentians take care of the nation’s forest, rivers, and beaches as they are vital parts of the ecosystem.
“Whatever takes places in the forest, rivers and beaches affects us all and each of us can play a part in keeping our environment clean,” Patterson said. He said that clogged rivers can lead to floods and landslides and polluted beaches result in damage to reefs, which are essential to ocean health, including fish stocks.
“Let us all come out and help to clean up our beaches,” he said. Patterson said that the groups in the various villages in North Leeward have promised to send at least 10 volunteers but he is hoping that it in each community will be a community-wide effort. He is also encouraging businesses, sports and cultural clubs, churches, and other groups across the country to volunteer to clean up a beach.
This is the 10th consecutive year that RVA is spearheading clean up efforts in North Leeward. Last year, volunteers collected 50 bags of trash on the beaches that they cleaned.