Plastic trashing Brac beaches

More than 40 people turned out to help clean up a beach on Cayman Brac this month in the latest part of a campaign to keep the island’s beaches pristine.

The Lions Club of Cayman Brac organised the clean-up and invited members of the public along the weekend of 7-8 March.

Volunteers

Volunteers clean up a Cayman Brac beach. Photo: Submitted

The club, along with members of the Leo Club, held similar beach clean-ups in July last year and in February this year.

In July, they cleaned a 300-metre stretch of beach in the Spot Bay area, behind the Spot Bay Primary School.

‘We thought that it was important that we play a role in protecting and preserving our beaches. At that time, about 36 30-gallon garbage bags filled with garbage were collected along with some larger items such as buckets, nets and part of a boat.

‘There was a serious concern about the amount of plastic rubbish collected on the beach. Most of the litter collected appeared to have been washed in by the sea and are therefore coming from fishing boats and cargo ships. Today, the concern still exists,’ said Fazileta Yusuf, chairperson of the Lions Club environment committee.

In February, the Lions and the Leo clubs took to the beaches again, with the aim to clear the beaches of debris from hurricane Paloma. They targeted the beach area adjacent to the Divi Tiara complex, clearing fallen trees, washed up dead seaweed and other hurricane debris.

‘We were disappointed to see a large number of human-generated garbage such as bottles, boxes, plastics and clothing thrown all over the beach,’ said Ms Yusuf.

This month, the club was joined by members of the public to clean up Public Beach, the remaining sections of the beach area adjacent to Divi Tiara and the beach area long the Stake Bay loop.

‘Again, plastics, bottles, clothing, and metals were among the popular items collected. We are indeed grateful to all those who assisted and urge you to continue to support your community service organisations in their efforts to build better communities,’ Ms Jusuf said.

She reminded the public of the threats posed by litter to marine life and seaside birds. Animals and fish can become entangled by litter or can get embedded in creatures’ flesh. They can also ingest the litter, which can block intestines and lead to starvation.

Ms Jusuf said the Lions and Leos clubs of Cayman Brac were encouraging everyone to help them keep the beaches tidy and clean.

‘We all like a nice clean beach. It provides an avenue for social gatherings, relaxation and swimming. It is up to everyone to take the responsibility to ensure that the beaches are clean, clear and safe.’

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