EPIC’s SXM DOET projects are overwhelming success due to Community Support
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EPIC’s SXM DOET projects are overwhelming success due to Community Support

(photo contributed) (photo contributed)

SINT MAARTEN (MAHO) – Environmental Protection in the Caribbean Foundation (EPIC) Sint Maarten, a leading advocate for environmental conservation and community engagement, showcased its commitment to making a positive impact during last weekend's national volunteering event by SXM DOET. Over the course of two days, EPIC spearheaded two highly successful initiatives that garnered significant community participation and support.

The first event, on Friday, a beach cleanup ‘hero’ hike saw an impressive turnout with 20 dedicated volunteers joining forces with EPIC. Together, they embarked on a mission to clean up Geneve Bay, a beautiful coastal area, just south of Guana Bay.

The collective efforts of the volunteers resulted in the collection of a staggering 179.8 kilograms (396 pounds) of trash, meticulously gathered and carried back along a 1-kilometer stretch of coastline.

The cleanup efforts ranged from removing plastic bottles, to ropes, nets, slippers, and even the smallest pieces of plastic debris. Notable discoveries included a propane fuel tank, a buoy, and a mast. Despite the magnitude of the task, the dedicated team made a significant impact, leaving Geneve Bay noticeably cleaner and safeguarding it from further pollution.

We greatly thank all the private persons putting in their time and effort, but also the Police (KPSM), Keller Williams and even frequent visitors to the island such as one from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US.

The second event, on Saturday, marked the inauguration of EPIC's latest initiative: "Perpetual Plastics," a plastic recycling social workspace. With an impressive turnout of over 35 individuals, including volunteers from Grant Thornton, Kooyman, SOAB, the Ministry of VSA, the Dutch Representation Office (VNP), and several private individuals, the collaborative effort was nothing short of extraordinary.

Participants engaged in various activities, including building upcycled furniture, upgrading donated items, beautifying a planter, and creating a vibrant mural. These endeavors signify the beginning of an innovative approach to plastic recycling, where plastics types 2 and 5 are transformed into new reusable, useful items, to later also integrate persons with a distance to the regular labor market.

EPIC expresses deep gratitude to SXM DOET, and congratulates them on a successful 10th anniversary edition of its national volunteering event. Furthermore, we thank the Oranje Fonds and all other partners and volunteers whose dedication and enthusiasm have set the stage for meaningful change during these volunteering days. A great heartfelt thank you goes out to Recycle Art SXM, Kooyman, Sherwin Williams, Avantika, Amore, Super U, CC1, Heavenly Water, Divico, Tri-Sport, Island Water World, P&J Heavy Equipment, Garden Boyz, and Freegan Food Foundation, for contributing to this EPIC’s event successes!

EPIC remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering environmental stewardship and community resilience. For more information about EPIC’s initiatives and upcoming events, please visit https://epicislands.org/

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