Coca Cola Belize staff and family members doing their share of cleaning up
On Saturday September 28th, 2013 hundreds of volunteers from throughout the country came out with their respective groups to be a part of the 22nd National Coastal and Riverways Cleanup. Last year a total of 8,726 lbs of debris was picked up, recorded and bagged off by 1,019 volunteers in 23.3 miles of coastline and waterways. This year we are hoping to surpass the 1000 volunteer mark since approximately over 2000 persons signed up to be part of the cleanup. In Toledo alone, Mr. Budna, the District Coordinator, recorded approximately 1,600 volunteers to come out over two days of cleanup.
Students in Punta Gorda cleaning and recording debris from the Coastline
The Cleanup is part of Ocean Conservancy’s larger strategy for Trash Free Seas and is one of the many ways the organization is helping find answers and solutions for marine debris. Other Ocean Conservancy-led efforts include building a Trash Free Seas Alliance® of industry, science and conservation leaders committed to reducing waste; supporting a scientific working group at the world’s leading ecological think tank, The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), to identify the scope and impact of marine debris on ocean ecosystems; and launching a mobile app, Rippl, to help people make sustainable lifestyle choices that limit trash impact.
This year visits were also made to the different District coordinators to encourage them to bring out the groups and pass out all the relevant information, especially, the new format of the Data Cards which saw a complete makeover and a more detailed outlook on the debris being recorded. It is more user friendly and only the specific debris data is being recorded with the relevant distance pounds and people partaking.
Scouts in Corozal doing their good turn cleaning the Corozal Bay
On the day of the cleanup the coordinators were in constant communication offering news and updates of what was happening on the cleanup sites. Everyone was happy to be making a difference and by midday most of the groups had already finished and were treated to some refreshments.
Student in Orange Walk Town cleaning the River Bank
Every year we receive assistance through the donations of garbage bags and gloves from our sponsoring businesses that accept the challenge and take part in this effort to help our environment, specifically, our coastline and waterways. This year Coca Cola Belize sponsored the Belize City, Belmopan and Orange Walk groups with some refreshments and T-shirts. Oceana also partnered with us through their Wavemakers throughout the country. Our biggest Sponsor was the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) who provided a grant towards this year’s cleanup effort.
Promoting the cleanup on the morning show "Open your Eyes"
We want to say a big Thank You to all the volunteers who came out and made the effort a worthy one. We hope that next year will be no different and more groups join this National effort for cleaner and safer waters for Marine Life and us to enjoy.