Fifty volunteers descended on Barkers Beach in West Bay to give it a much needed cleanup on Monday morning.
Equipped with gloves, garbage bags, rakes, water and energy drinks, the group picked up bags, cups, lids, plates, utensils, discarded food, wrappers, containers and other waste that could pollute the environment, harm wildlife and be unsightly to locals and tourists.
“Barkers Beach really needed cleaning up,” said volunteer Jocelyn Mead. “It is out of the way and not really taken care of that much.”
An initiative of Diamonds International, the “Lend-A-Hand” project encourages staff to give back to the local community.
“When ships are not in port, we take staff around the community to do clean-ups. In the past, we have assisted with such organizations as the Cayman Islands Red Cross and Meals on Wheels,” said volunteer and organizer Laura Richards.
To get an idea of which areas need attention, Ms. Richards said the organization contacts the Department of Environment. This time, the department suggested Barkers needed a helping hand.
“The beach cleanup creates a lot of local awareness … it is the minimum we can do for the Cayman Islands. We love to help. Every year we do the cleanup during low season,” said volunteer Avi Avraham.
The team spent the morning combing the beach for plastic and other debris and managed to fill a total of 20 large garbage bags.
The volunteers mostly consisted of staff from Diamonds International and sister store Tanzanite International.
“We are always on the lookout for future projects and welcome anyone who needs a helping hand to contact us at [email protected],” said Ms. Richards.
Established two years ago, the “Lend-A-Hand” team has taken part in several projects in collaboration with non-profit organizations, including the Cayman Islands Crisis Center, Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, Humane Society and the Department of Environment.