JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Montego Bay Marine Park Trust in St. James is on a mission to reinstall an ocean litter containment boom, to trap floating debris that enters the sea from the South Gully.
  • Executive Director of the Montego Bay Marine Park Trust, Hugh Shim, told JIS News that the park is currently seeking funding to reinstall the boom. He is also extending an open invitation to Government agencies and corporate Jamaica to get on board and support the project.
  • “There were benefits having it (the boom) here,” Mr. Shim said.

The Montego Bay Marine Park Trust in St. James is on a mission to reinstall an ocean litter containment boom, to trap floating debris that enters the sea from the South Gully.

Executive Director of the Montego Bay Marine Park Trust, Hugh Shim, told JIS News that the park is currently seeking funding to reinstall the boom. He is also extending an open invitation to Government agencies and corporate Jamaica to get on board and support the project.

“There were benefits having it (the boom) here,” Mr. Shim said.

He outlined that the previous project was funded under the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) Clean Coast Project and ended in 2018 after a two-year stint.

“We even had a study every time we collected the garbage. When we collected it, we actually sorted the garbage to see how many bottles, bags, condoms, cigarettes and styrofoam boxes were taken up. We got an idea of what’s coming down the gully and what we need to start controlling,” Mr. Shim explained

“So, that was part of the benefit as well,” he added.

Mr. Shim said the re-establishment of the containment boom will also complement the ban on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene foam in Jamaica. He noted that Montego Bay’s harbour has seen a significant reduction of the banned materials.

In the meantime, Mr. Shim said the marine park staff will be participating in the upcoming International Coastal Clean-up Day on September 21, and he is anticipating a large turnout of volunteers in Montego Bay for the initiative, which is spearheaded locally by JET.

“Last year was quite successful in terms of the amount of volunteers coming out. We had over a thousand [people] in Montego Bay. The corporate people came, a lot of hotel [staff] and so forth, and lots of young people,” Mr. Shim noted.

“This year again, we are doing a lyrics competition and we are doing some drumming for the environment. We might have some tours for the volunteers. So, we try to make it attractive, and the level of consciousness that it raised is really the main goal of it,” he added.