Graham and Janet Morse had grown tired of trash floating up on the shores near their Frank Sound home.
So the couple took matters into their own hands and did something about it.
The Morses spent a few hours each day earlier this summer clearing debris marring the one-mile stretch of beach in front of their home on the south side of Grand Cayman.
In one week, the Morses filled 27 bags of garbage, which were then discarded with the help of the Cayman Islands Department of Environment.
“Knowing that if everyone cleans up just a little bit there would be no garbage, we got together one week and worked a few hours every day picking up debris and garbage off the beach,” the couple said.
Carl Edwards, an official with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, commended the Morses for their efforts.
“Although they did get a little help from us, the moral of the story is that no one needs to wait for government to clean up,” Mr. Edwards said. “So next time if someone asks you who’s going to clean up the beach, or when is government going to do something, tell them to talk to Graham and Janet Morse.”
The DOE truck that went on the beach to help remove the garbage bags carefully drove on the wrack line to minimise the potential of running over turtle nests in the area.
Oceans have long served as a place for people to work, play and harvest food. But in recent years the waters covering the globe have been increasingly used as a waste dump. As the human population grows, so has resource consumption and the creation of waste products.
According to a Caribbean Community Secretariat report prepared for the United Nations, the quantity of waste in the region is closely linked to the level of economic activity in given a country.
Wealthier jurisdictions tend to produce more waste. The lack of land areas and resources available for the safe disposal of wastes, as well as population growth, the growing tourism industry and the increase in imports of polluting substances combine to make waste management a critical issue in most Caribbean states.
With a per capita gross domestic product of more than $42,000 in 2010, the Cayman Islands ranked second to Bermuda in the Caribbean.
“Due to the prevailing currents and winds, our beaches are unfortunately often inundated with junk,” Mr. Edwards said. “If everyone cleans a part, or doesn’t dump trash in the first place, it will make a huge difference.”