SINT MAARTEN (GUANA BAY) - Members of The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset joined by over 60 members of various local Rotary, Lions, Leo, Interact and Rotaract clubs and other local volunteers gathered at the Guana Bay beach on Saturday, September 19th, 2020 to conduct this year’s International Coastal Cleanup.
The cleanup was organized by the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset’s Disaster Relief Committee led by Chairman, Antoine Flanders, in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of keeping our island and particularly our shorelines free from pollution and waste.
International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in September every year, and it is the largest one-day volunteer event in the world. Awareness is spreaded, about preserving and protecting the world's oceans and waterways. Supporting the environment was most recently identified as a new area of focus for Rotary International and Rotary clubs worldwide. Through the Rotary Foundation, more than $18 million has been allocated to environment-related projects over the past 5 years and Rotary clubs now have more opportunities to bring about positive change in the world and in our community.
According to Disaster Relief Chair Flanders, “The purpose of the cleanup was not only to have the beach cleaned but to bring awareness of how our shorelines are being ill-treated. It also served as a platform to engage people around the island to be more mindful when disposing their trash and debris. Considering that we are still in the Hurricane season, the cleanup was a great initiative as lying debris and other harmful garbage can become dangerous during a storm.”
In order to minimize the risk of possible spreading of COVID-19, the cleaning operation was carried out in groups of no more than four participants each. All of them maintained an appropriate distance from each other and paid heed to personal protection, including wearing masks and gloves. There were over 40 bags of 30-gallon garbage bags filled with trash collected at the from the beach.
The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset expresses sincere thanks to Meadowlands BV for providing the bins, gloves and cleaning equipment as well as collecting the trash after the cleanup, Heavenly Water for providing cases of water, Carl & Sons Unique Bakery for providing the sandwiches and Leonard Enterprises for providing heavy duty trash bags and gloves.
The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset would like to encourage the community to support our future projects and we would also like to remind the general public and visitors alike to work together to keep our shorelines clean during their outings. Let us protect our country’s scenery and ecosystem.