Monday, October 8, 2007

Thanks a Thousand!

About one hundred volunteers showed up at Turtle Beach on October 6, and they cleaned ONE THOUSAND pounds of trash off the beach and reef.

That's what I call a success!

It was pretty cool, actually. I figured if we were lucky, about 50-60 people would show, so when the cars kept arriving, one after the other, I was jumping up and down with excitement. To see all these people giving up their Saturdays to work together for a common cause was amazing. Phantasmagorical is the word my dad would use!

After the clean, we had a great BBQ at the Cramer's house. People feasted on veggie kebabs, falafel pitas, bbq chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit skewers, and homemade tollhouse cookies. And their was lots of ice cold beer, too!

We gave prizes to the best youth teams, so the 2 hard-working teams that went home with iTunes gift certificates (the most environmentally friendly prize we could think of that teens would like) were Christopher and Alexander King and Jake Getz and Nikki Isles.


So many people came together to make the day a success. I'd like to thank St. Kitts Foundation for their sponsorship of the event, and the Cramer family for hosting the BBQ! Thanks also go to Silver Reef, St. Christopher Club, Newfound Group, and Turtle Tours. A special thanks to Jay Farier from the St. Kitts Department of Environment and Planning who arrived with a scale, giving us the final tally of 1033 pounds! With everyone working together, we're doing great things.

gogoshire's Turtle Beach Clean Badge photosetgogoshire's Turtle Beach Clean Badge photoset

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Turtle Beach Reef&Beach Clean, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2pm

Garbage, Garbage, Everywhere!

This weekend, St. Kitts Reef Ecology Watch Group is tackling the beach and reef at Turtle Beach. We went down last weekend to check it out, and it was awful! Here are some pictures so you can see what we're dealing with!

Where does all of this trash come from? It's the shoe that your friend on the boat lost, it's the bottle cap of your water bottle that you dropped, it's the grapefruit rinds from that cruise ship's breakfast buffet, it's that styrofoam food container that blew away.... Who knows? It comes from all over and from so many different places.

Can we keep up with the trash? Honestly, no. Change has to come from a different place. We'll clean this beach Saturday, but the tides will bring in more garbage next week. Our job has no end in sight.

Should we despair? Just throw up our hands and give up? No! Because cleaning the beaches raises our own awareness. With each piece of trash we pick up, we are participating with the health of our planet, and that's a really neat thing. With each bottle cap and chunk of styrofoam, we think about the materials we use in our daily lives and where they end up. That's big time stuff!

Also, cleaning the beaches makes the area nicer for the critters that live there, whether they be reef fish or turtles or water birds or mongoose. Those critters can get really sick when they ingest this junk, and for those of us that eat meat, this stuff you see on the beach becomes part of the food chain. Gross!

So what we're doing might seem like an exercise in futility, but it's an exercise we have to do!