Local non-profit leads cleanup of Pensioners Beach over weekend

Photo courtesy AdoptaCoastline’s social media page
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Kenicia Francis

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AdoptaCoastline, a local non-profit organisation partnered with the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to execute a beach cleanup on the weekend.

According to a post on the organisation’s Facebook page, 25 volunteers comprised of coastal stewards from UWI Five Islands, National Ambassadors from the Department of Youth Affairs and a new group of volunteers from the Theophania School of Dance took part in the exercise to remove discarded waste from Pensioners Beach. 

The post also indicated that the Chairman of the NSWMA, Michael Joseph, also joined in the beach cleanup and the NSWMA removed all the trash and debris collected by the volunteers.

The materials removed from the beach filled eleven 64-gallon and seven 24-gallon trash bags. 

They also removed a number of large discarded items to include a household sink, tyres, deck chairs and foam.

AdoptaCoastline, which is affiliated with the Environmental Awareness Group (EAG), was founded by Jennifer Meranto.

The group is committed to safeguarding coastlines and marine ecosystems, by allowing its members to “take care of that beach just like you would adopt a child”, explained Kaiesha Joseph, the Youth Steward/Ambassador. 

The members also work to promote marine conservation and raising awareness about the importance of safeguarding oceans. 

Their efforts often involve organising beach clean-ups, educational programmes, and advocating for policies that support coastal conservation.

When a coastline is “adopted” by a member, they take care of it by placing bins on the beach that are changed weekly. If multiple members live near the same beach, there’s a roster for bin changes; However, if only one person lives there, that person takes care of it. 

The director of AdoptaCoastline Kat Byles said that “AdoptaCoastline is community coastal stewardship in Antigua and Barbuda. That means that we’re removing all the litter, all the marine debris and we’re working with communities to replant and nourish the coastlines so we can safeguard against erosion.

“We can restore the green belt for the endangered leatherback and hawksbill turtles and while we’re doing that, reconnect with nature so that we are getting back into a healthier way of being.”

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