Sat | Nov 17, 2018

JET aims for 10,000 International Coastal Clean-up volunteers

Published:Wednesday | August 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMBrian Walker/Staff Reporter
Jason Worton of Jamaica Surfing Association cleaning the beach during the Jamaica Environment Trust beach clean-up on the Palisadoes strip in Kingston to launch International Coastal Clean-up Day on Monday.

Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) is pushing to attract 10,000 volunteers for the 2018 staging of the International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) Day set to take place on September 15. Last year, Jamaica was recognised as hosting the 12th largest ICC event in the world, and JET wants to break into the top 10 this year.

"We've been aiming for it [10,000] for a couple of years, we haven't quite got it; but this year we are hoping that we will meet that target," Suzanne Stanley, chief executive officer - JET, told The Gleaner on Monday

JET launched the ICC Day on Monday after 25 volunteers bagged over 280 pounds of garbage along the stone revetment on the Palisadoes main road. Volunteers collected garbage weighing over 160,000 pounds last year, but Stanley noted that JET does not usually set a collection target.

She asserted: "We acknowledge that there is a solid waste management problem. Of course, the more garbage that we take up of the beach, the better. But we want the situation to improve in Jamaica, such that ... we're able to see less garbage washing up on our beaches."

Michelle Clayton-Brown, senior project administrative officer at the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), lauded JET on its 11th staging of the event as the national coordinator.

"TEF is happy to see the event grow every year, but we look forward to the day when volunteers will come to ICC and there won't be any garbage for them to clean up. As Jamaicans, we all need to take personal responsibility for the garbage we generate, and keep Jamaica clean not just for visitors, but for each other," said Clayton-Brown.

The ICC is the largest one-day volunteer clean-up event in the world. It was started by Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit based in the United States, in an effort to not only clean up beaches and waterways, but to heighten awareness about marine pollution.