KINGSTON, Jamaica — Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett announced that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) provided a $7.5 million contribution towards International Coastal Clean-up Day on Saturday, September 16.
The annual event, held at 186 sites across Jamaica, is aimed at preserving the island's coastlines and champion environmental sustainability. According to a release from the TEF on Sunday, the event was a success.
Expressing support for the event, Bartlett emphasised the significance of International Coastal Clean-up Day for Jamaica's future.
"I firmly believe that the Coastal Clean-up holds immense importance for Jamaica's future. Our pristine coastlines are not only the gateway to our thriving tourism industry but also a reflection of our dedication to environmental sustainability,” he said.
"I am heartened by the number of Jamaicans I see actively participating in the International Coastal Clean-up each year, as it demonstrates our commitment to preserving Jamaica's natural beauty, ensuring that our shores remain stunning and inviting for generations to come."
As the title sponsor of the International Coastal Clean-up initiative since 2008, TEF said it recognises the critical role of environmental protection in preserving and enhancing Jamaica's tourism product.
In 2022, 6,020 volunteers from 134 groups joined hands to collect an impressive 79,507 pounds of garbage from 124 miles of coastline across all 14 parishes in Jamaica.
During the clean-up activities at JET’s flagship site at the Palisadoes Go-Kart track on Saturday, Dr Theresa Rodriguez-Moodie, environmental ccientist and CEO at Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), highlighted the focus on addressing plastic pollution during this year's clean-up efforts. She emphasised the importance of educating volunteers about reducing the use of single-use plastics and promoting recycling practices.
Although the number of volunteers was scaled back this year due to improved conditions at certain sites, she stressed that coastal clean-ups remain vital in preventing plastics and garbage from entering the marine environment.