[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Natural Resources & Environment, Robert Persaud yesterday (September 20) joined many to not only celebrate International Coastal Clean-up day (ICC) but pitched in along with Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and other Government officials to clean up the seawalls.
Minister Persaud in his message in honour of the day said, “We join numerous volunteers around the world in removing litter, trash and debris found on our sea-shores and river banks and other waterways. International Coastal Cleanup has been an annual event for nearly three decades, being first initiated in 1986 American Centre for Marine Conservation also known as the Ocean Conservancy.”
ICC takes places on the third Saturday in September each year and is the world’s largest volunteer effort to remove trash and debris from the shorelines, waterways, oceans and beaches.
It is intended not only to remove debris from all bodies of water but also to collect valuable information about debris.
The activity also seeks to heighten public awareness of the causes of litter and debris and to make a positive change and to promote water pollution prevention efforts worldwide
Explaining how this event has evolved in Guyana over the years, Minister Persaud added that “In Guyana International Coastal Cleanup Activities began in Georgetown, in September, 2005, attracting some seventy (70) participants. Since then, participation in the activity has grown gradually to an average of about two-hundred (200) persons in the Georgetown ICC; the activity has also been conducted in other Regions of the country.”
Additionally, the work that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been doing over the years was also highlighted since the agency has been collaborating with other partners to mobilize volunteers to participate in the annual ICC exercise to rid our coastlines of marine litter and to encourage positive behavioral change.
Ocean trash is one of the most serious forms of pollution problems, this is where the issues of marine litter was highlighted and Minister Persaud said “not only is trash in the water and even on the beach disgusting to look at, it’s actually harmful to humans, wildlife and the environment.”
He emphasized that everyone can play a part in reducing litter marine.
“There are practical, pragmatic solutions and concrete actions that we can take every day to protect our ocean. These actions need to take place at every street corner, creek bed and coastal waterway to stop the flow of trash before it hits our shores. We need to dispose of our trash the right way – in bins and at locations legally designated for this purpose. We need to erase the habit of tossing our food and drink bottles on the road and along and over the seawalls.”