The Palisadoes coastal strip in Kingston and Half Moon Bay at Hellshire in St. Catherine are to undergo a major clean-up on Saturday, September 15, as part of activities by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) to highlight the observance of International Coastal Clean-up Day.
The Half Moon Bay exercise is being done in collaboration with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), while the Palisadoes strip clean-up exercise will be undertaken by NEPA.
International Coastal Clean-up Day is traditionally observed the third Saturday in September and for the past 27 years it has been ranked as the world’s largest volunteer effort dedicated to the health of the world's ocean.
Speaking with JIS News, Environmental Officer with NEPA, Monique Curtis, explained that the local sites were specifically chosen because of their importance to the ecology of this part of the island.
She pointed out that the Palisadoes strip, in particular, was very significant. “One major activity is the Sea Turtle nesting which takes place along the beach from Harbour View to Port Royal. For years NEPA has observed nesting turtles coming on to the beach, laying their eggs and returning to the water. The hatchlings that come out on the beach at nights are hampered by the debris on the beach along the coastline, some going into bottles and actually dying," she said.
Ms. Curtis explained that the day’s activity was more than just a clean-up exercise as volunteers will be given data sheets to tally what exactly is ending up on the beaches.
"What we have found most of the time, is that the debris that have been coming in are usually associated with persons throwing garbage from recreational activities. So, we target people who use the beach for recreation," she said.
Miss Curtis said that volunteers are encouraged to contact NEPA’s office and sign-up, as their effort will make a difference, not only to the endangered animals, but to the cleanliness of the beaches. Other beach clean-up activities will be held across the island.