Recently, the Nature Foundation St Maarten Association organized a cleanup operation on Mullet Bay beach with students from Leonald Connor Primary School.
About 25 students collected over 115 kg of trash in just half an hour. The students discovered the impact of single-use plastics on our environment, marine life and wildlife. Nature Foundation staff and interns educated students about the importance of coral reefs, threats to corals, and the real nature of corals.
“Last year we had already visited this group of students in their classroom to discuss the impacts of single-use plastics on marine life and the environment and to explain how they could reduce their own plastic production by using reusable and biodegradable products. It's great to have them here on the ground and show them the great amount of garbage on our beaches. We must make young people aware of the importance of our natural environment, keep it clean and value nature. As a tourist destination, we depend on our natural resources for a sustainable future, ”said Melanie Meijer Zu Schlochtern, Project Officer at the Nature Foundation.
Enthusiastic young people…
The clean-up started with a brief presentation, to allow them to better understand the danger of pollution and the importance of our coral reefs, followed by an active clean-up of the region and the beach.
“A lot of rubbish, such as plastic bottles, cups, spoons, forks, cans, leaves, glass bottles and other rubbish was found on the beach and collected. The reusable bags were filled with garbage and lots of single-use plastics. All bags were weighed in order to record the number of garbage collected using 4 Ocean's Trash Tracker method. The students were very enthusiastic about doing this cleaning job, because it was a motivating competition that allowed the team that collected the most garbage to win a prize, ”explained the interns Chantal and Latisha from the Nature Foundation.
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