Tag Archives: Environmental Action

Clean Up Barbados – Where the Hell were the politicians?

No politicians at Browne's Beach. Where were they?

No politicians at Browne's Beach. Where were they? (photo by Dennis Jones, Living in Barbados Blog)

We were there. Auntie Moses was there. A whole lot of people were there bending and raking and picking up – including our friend Dennis from Living in Barbados Blog who put up some photos, a story and a video at Barbados Clean Up Day and International Beach Clean Up.

I didn’t see even one politician. No one I’ve talked with saw a politician. With the exception of the Prime Minister’s better half (Thompson is out of the country), no one has reported a Bee or a Dee bending and stooping anywhere in Barbados. They didn’t even show up for a photo op or we’d see them in the papers.

So, where the hell were they? Where was Environment Minister Lowe? Where was Mia Mottley?

Did we just miss them?

Tell us who you saw folks!

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics

How many politicians will be out for Clean Up Barbados? (And we don’t mean just for the photo-op)

Clean Up Barbados

Did you spot a politician cleaning up? We didn’t see a single one.

(posted September 19, 2009, 3:25pm Bridgetown)

Kammie Holder*, one of the organisers of the Clean Up Barbados initiative happening today, Saturday September 19, 2009, has been offered a challenge that will see him BDS$300 richer or poorer.

If fewer than 3 politicians come out and get their hands dirty actually helping out today, Kammie is out $300. If 3 or more politicians come out and actually work, Kammie makes $300 on a bet.

We’ve heard that Mrs. Prime Minister will be out working, but I’m not sure if she counts as a politician.

So what do you think folks? Will more than 3 politicians come out and actually get their hands dirty? I think someone should tell Denis Lowe that standing around for photo-ops doesn’t count!

See our original story: ‘Clean Up Barbados’ needs more volunteers – BFP’s Auntie Moses will be there. How about you?

* While we believe Kammie Holder is the one who contacted us, we did not meet, nor does Kammie know our faces or our names.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

‘Clean Up Barbados’ needs more volunteers – BFP’s Auntie Moses will be there. How about you?

Clean Up Barbados

500 Volunteers registered so far

The inaugural Clean Up Barbados event is on for Saturday, September 19th but needs many more people to participate because, frankly, the place is in bad shape. This littering and garbage dumping business is not only impacting our international reputation as a desirable place for a vacation, it’s costing us money and trouble every time we have a big rain. Much of the flooding is directly caused by garbage plugging the catchments and runoff areas. Two of us at BFP have been hit hard by water damage in the last little while and there was no reason for our loss except the garbage that blocked the runoff up the end of the road.

So we’ll be out on Saturday with Auntie Moses and the little ones.

How about you?

Here’s the media release with the details…

Preparations well under way for Clean Up Barbados

After inspection of some of the twenty two sites registered for Clean Up Barbados Day taking place on Saturday September 19, Ms Nicole Garofano, Administrator of The Future Centre, is confident the event will be a success.

The event, which plans to become an annual contribution to the Barbadian environmental calendar, aims to highlight the many impacts of waste to our communities and their environs. Not only does the haphazard disposal of waste look unsightly, it of course creates health hazards through the harbouring of vectors. In addition, this waste contributes to the blockage of drains and gully areas, and also prevents clean filtration of rainwater as some examples of the impacts of unmanaged waste.

In the planning of the inaugural Clean Up Barbados event, Ms Garofano carried out several site inspections this past weekend to gather some pre clean up photo and video footage. “The sites we have registered so far cover each coastline of the island. We also have two sites registered inland, focused on gully clean ups. The sites inspected in preparation for the event, vary in their visible waste. The East Coast sites are probably the worst areas and will require the most attention” Ms Garofano stated.

She added, “The gully areas identified have had a history of illegal dumping, so these will also require some good manpower. In the case of Blackman’s Gully, Island Safari, Adventureland Tours and Innotech Services Limited, have taken their clean up one step further to make available heavy machinery.”

The event has so far brought together some five hundred persons via the registration of some twenty seven groups. Some of the areas included will be working alongside the Caribbean Youth Environment Network as local implementing agency for the International Coastal Clean Up Day, also taking place on September 19, in addition to the Environmental Protection Department. These two organisations will be working to add to their extensive database of information relating to marine debris, which is studied each year on this weekend.

Contributors to Clean Up Barbados include Starcom Network, SBI Distribution (who have also registered a group), Realtors, B’ Recycling, First Caribbean International Bank, Realtors, and Virgo Communications who have created the branded website www.cleanupbarbados.org.

The Future Centre is proud to be undertaking this initiative as it strives to continue to raise the profile of environmental awareness. “Educating the public, primarily young people, is our key focus, with this event a great example of this mission”, Ms Garofano offered. She added that “during these next few months and leading into the next three year phase, we look forward to a greater place in the community to build this awareness and attempt to reconnect with the earth and its resources to our daily living in an attempt to live more sustainably”.

Clean Up Barbados forms part of Clean Up the World, a year-round community-led environmental campaign that takes place in local communities involving an estimated 35 million volunteers from 120 countries each year. Clean Up the World is a campaign held in conjunction with Primary Partner UNEP. Sponsors – Brambles and Qantas. Supporters – The Australian Government through the Department of  Foreign Affairs and Trade, Armor and Marriott International Inc.

For further information or to register a group for Clean Up Barbados contact The Future Centre on 425 2020 or by email at futurecentre@sunbeach.net or visit our newly developed website www.cleanupbarbados.org. You can also find us through the Clean Up the World link at activities.cleanuptheworld.org.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

Dead Fish On Barbados Shores, Garbage In Our Sea: Where does it come from, and what can we do about it?

by Lani Edghill

by Lani Edghill

I grew up on Hastings beach on the south coast of the island between Coconut Court and Hilton. As a child and teenager I walked the beach daily and often cleaned up garbage. Much of this garbage was from people dumping on the beach but other garbage would wash up onto the shore from unknown sources.

As a child I played on the reef and watched sea turtles lay eggs on this stretch. There is much for us to be proud of when it comes to our beautiful beaches and rich ocean ecosystems that host a myriad of beautiful ocean creatures.

These days I live on the south easterly part of the island, just inside the dunes of Long Beach. This part of the island is truly scenic with its untouched rugged beauty, beach dunes and undeveloped wetland. Many tourists who I meet on the beach tell me this is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island but they wonder why it is littered with all types of garbage and dead fish!

Barbados Beaches 2bThe question that my dad and I have been asking each other for so long is; where does it come from?

Recently I learned that according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (pdf), ocean vessels including cruise ships are legally allowed to dump raw sewage and garbage into the open ocean In addition recently there has been media coverage about the Caribbean not doing anything about this ecological disaster in fear of slowing economic development. (Tampa Bay Online: Cruise Ships Use Caribbean as Solid Waste Dump)

Marine debris in the ocean is becoming a growing concern. A study conducted in St. Lucia by the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute showed significant levels of plastic materials in the oceans. Plastic debris is most common such as bags and bottle caps, and is a threat to all ocean organisms. Sea turtles and sea birds can ingest plastic causing blockages in digestive tracts, damaging stomach linings and lessening feeding drives. Marine organisms can also become entangled in loops or openings of submerged or floating debris and many often drown or die of starvation as a result.

Raw sewage released into the ocean contains nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and phosphates. These nutrients, in high concentrations, can cause harmful algae blooms that consume oxygen in the water column that can lead to fish kills and destruction of other aquatic life; this is locally referred to as “green water”. The cruise ship industry contributes a large amount of treated and untreated grey water to the marine system overloading it with nutrients. This is one of the theories behind the recent fish kills but no one can seem to tell us what is really causing this phenomenon and claim that it is normal. (See The Nation article Fish kill at Bath ‘no cause for alarm’)

One thing is for sure this is not a natural occurrence and there is cause for alarm… Our environment is trying to tell us something!

Barbados Beaches 3bAbout a week ago dead fish, garbage and nonnative organic debris started washing up on Long Beach. My father even found two dead adolescent Leatherback Turtles, the most endangered turtles in the world. As of today dead fish are still washing up on the shores! We may not know exactly what is causing this but there is no question that our marine environment is stressed, the question is what can we do about it? Well there are lots of things and I believe that as a community we can work together to change our behaviors and respect our earth.

Clean Up Barbados Day!

On September 19th the Future Centre Trust will be holding an event called Clean Up Barbados Day. This event coincides with the global Clean Up the World Weekend and offers Barbadians the opportunity to contribute something positive to their community by helping to clean up an area that needs attention. This event can provide Bajans with a sense of hope that if we all work together we can help. The Future Center is asking that if any community groups or organizations/businesses would like to organize an event or contribute by sponsoring the event.

Please contact The Future Centre at 425-2020 or futurecentre@sunbeach.net. You can also visit their Facebook group ‘The Future Centre’ or our website at www.counterpartcaribbean.org.

In addition to keeping our surroundings clean it is important for us to all be conscious of how our behaviors contribute to solid waste issues. On November 27th the Future Centre will be hosting an event called No Plastic Bag Day. On this day at participating locations reusable shopping bags will be for sale for $3.99. This will encourage and allow the public to say NO Thanks to plastic bags when they shop. Customers will also be encouraged to bring their own or say no if it’s only a small item. Plastic bags are often used once and thrown away; they degrade in the kitchen or laundry cupboard; clog up drains and landfills; they are a hazard to marine life and are made of non-renewable fossil fuels. This habit is unsustainable but we as a community have the power to change our behavior.

Some of the other things we can do; reduce all waste such as composting and throwing away less garbage (this means being more conscious of reducing waste such as not accepting plastic bags). This also means using less and recycling more. Yes people we may not have a municipal recycling program on the island but we do have options, see local recycler list at No Excuse For Not Recycling In Barbados!

In addition we can also use dish washing soap that includes biodegradable phosphates and surfactants (there are some cheap brands too) and most importantly we can write our local representatives and let them know what we would like to see the government do to improve on these issues.

Anything else to add Barbados?

Let’s remember everyone that we have a choice to be part of the problem or are part of the solution. Let’s all work together to be part of the solution!

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Wildlife