Cleanup, Environmental awareness, Public involvement
On Sunday December 9th 2018, the GFC team cleaned the Woburn mangroves in the area directly surrounding the viewing platform. In less than an hour, we collected 8 large bags of garbage.
The following weekend, on Sunday December 16th, we cleaned Telescope Big Bay with the help of several community members. It took our team of a dozen people 2.5 hours to clean the area, and we collected 45 bags of plastic garbage. Despite this tremendous effort, the area is still not completely clean, and will be revisited in the next few months for another cleanup.
On February 17th 2019, GFC collaborated with the Sandals Foundation to conduct our largest cleanup yet. We returned to Big Bay with a very ambitious goal: to clean the entire coast of Big Bay, St. Andrew from Telescope north to La Poterie, but the sheer volume of garbage meant this was not achieved. Despite collecting 45 bags of plastic garbage in December, just two months later, we collected an additional 85 bags from Telescope alone. In total, we picked up a staggering 2,300 lbs. of garbage (90% of which was plastic) from a coastal stretch of mangroves only 1.3 km long.
These results were disheartening, but we used this opportunity to raise awareness of the plastic epidemic and engage in the conversations about more effective means of waste management on our island, as well as promote smart consumerism and discourage the use of single use plastics.
This cleanup was very well-advertised and thus was attended by over 80 people from various groups around the island. Present were youth groups such as Education Conservation Outreach (ECO) from SGU and the Youth Emergency Action Committee (YEAC); community groups such as the Leo and Lions Clubs of St. Andrew; other NGOs such as Grenada Green Group (G3) and CYEN; as well as a group of visiting graduate students from the University of Manitoba, during their field course to Grenada.
Throughout 2019, we continued to support the local Sandals Foundation team in their monthly cleanup activities wherever possible. The months and locations of the cleanups we attended are: January at Crochu, St. David; March at Ft. Jeudy, St. George; and June at La Tante, St. David. The March cleanup at Ft. Jeudy was especially rewarding as we were joined by the Grade 6 class of Woburn Methodist School, who had chosen to study mangroves as their project for the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA). They were enthused to learn more about the mangroves in the area, and to get involved in keeping them clean.