THE Fisherman's Co-operative Beach in Montego Bay received a much-needed facelift when Sandals Foundation ambassadors from Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean Resorts cleared more than 700 pounds of garbage and discarded items from the beach last Friday to mark International Coastal Clean-Up Day (ICC).
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the usual one-day International Coastal Clean-Up Day activities in September had been spread across multiple weekends throughout October and November.
The volunteers filled several bags with items washed ashore such as plastic and glass bottles, clothes, household items, sandbags, and car batteries.
Started by the Ocean Conservancy in Texas, ICC is one of the largest volunteer events in the world with more than 100 countries participating every year.
Through this annual event, the International Ocean Conservancy hopes to spread awareness and encourage everyone to stop trash at the source, a mission the Sandals Foundation fully supports.
Sandals Foundation said the labour of love was a collaboration between three environmental groups at Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean – the Sandals Public Relations Team, Earth Guardians, and the Sandals Foundation Ambassadors.
The teams started their efforts Friday, combing the beach for plastic bottles, paper, and plastic, as well as disposable masks among other debris.
“We have done beach clean-up in this area in the past,” Sandals Regional Public Relations Manager for Montego Bay Ian Spencer said. “Due to the onset of the pandemic, we were unable to assist over the past two years, but saw the need and began organising the activity and now we are happy to be back.”
Spencer said the Sandals Foundation is cognisant of the fact that the beach is heavily patronised by members of the local community, “which is why we are so happy to be able to work with the fishermen to keep this particular beach clean”.
Shari Aris, environment health and safety manager at Sandals Royal Caribbean, said the Sandals Foundation commits itself to preserving the natural surroundings through projects in education, environment, and community.
Members of the Fisherman's Co-operative praised the Sandals Foundation and its volunteers for their assistance in clearing the beach and said they looked forward to closer collaboration between both entities.