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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • On September 17, Local Government Authorities will be partnering with organizers and civic groups to carry out clean-up operations on the island’s coastal areas in observance of International Coastal Cleanup Day.
  • This year the focus of NEPA, in partnership with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), is on Half-moon Bay in Hellshire St. Catherine.
  • Ms. Donaldson stressed however that citizens should come out as part of their civic duty to work alongside the Local Government representatives and not wait for them to turn out.

On September 17, Local Government Authorities will be partnering with organizers and civic groups to carry out clean-up operations on the island’s coastal areas in observance of International Coastal Cleanup Day.

This was disclosed by Manager of the Eco-Systems Management Branch at National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Andrea Donaldson at a JIS Think Tank on Friday (September 9).

International Coastal Cleanup Day is traditionally celebrated on the third Saturday in September of each year. It offers a hands-on opportunity to make a difference at the local community level.

On this day, volunteers from across the globe will collect millions of pounds of litter and debris. The data collected will be used in a report done by the Ocean Conservancy in Texas.

This year the focus of NEPA, in partnership with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), is on Half-moon Bay in Hellshire St. Catherine.

Ms Donaldson said the custom of organizers, is to invite everyone and every stakeholder to come out and participate in the clean-up exercise.

“Last year we had the Mayor and the Custos who came out. So they do participate and we do hope they will come again,” she stated.

Ms. Donaldson stressed however that citizens should come out as part of their civic duty to work alongside the Local Government representatives and not wait for them to turn out.

“You know we don’t want that a Member of Parliament, a Custos or a Mayor has to turn out for everybody to turn out,” she said.

Last year Acting Mayor of the Portmore Municipality and Counsellor for the Hellshire Division Leon Palmer participated in the coastal clean-up exercise and noted that the participation of concerned citizens was heartening.

He noted however there was work to be done after the day’s event ended.

“We have to educate the public about recycling and how to better control the things that they dispose. Some of the things picked up like old toilet seats, old tyres and other material should not be on the beach, so education has to be the way forward,” he told JIS News.

For his part Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Southern, Fitz Jackson highlighted that cleaning the beach was significant, as it catered not just to Portmore residents but to the wider Kingston Metropolitan Area and St. Catherine.

“It’s their beach so what I’d like to see is the groups form an ‘adopt the beach committee’ and do a clean-up exercises on a regular basis. That would reduce the need for so massive a clean-up exercise at the end of the year,” he told JIS News.