A busy Earth Month ahead for Cayman Brac

Helping clean up the Brac Public Beach last Saturday were, from left, Edna Platts, Paula Malone, Charlie and his father Leo St. Pierre, Barbara Redman-White and Harmony Learning Centre facilitator Jocelyn St. Pierre.

Earth Month activities kicked off on Cayman Brac with a cleanup at Public Beach.

Kathleen Bodden-Harris, who is spearheading the island’s projects for the month, noted that a handful of volunteers, including some from Harmony Learning Center, showed up on Saturday, April 2, to do their part.

“I want to thank everyone for their participation,” said Ms. Bodden-Harris. “It was a wonderful opportunity for the Harmony Learning Centre to show how well they can participate in such positive community events.”

Ms. Bodden-Harris said the kickoff project was organized at Public Beach because it is an area frequented by both locals and visitors.

“As well, its a favored site for turtle nesting,” she added.

“We wanted to clean up the area before the ‘moms’ start coming in to find a pristine spot to leave their eggs.”

Paula Malone lends a helping hand to clear rubbish from the back of the restroom building at the Brac Public Beach. - Photos: Kathleen Bodden-Harris
Paula Malone lends a helping hand to clear rubbish from the back of the restroom building at the Brac Public Beach. – Photos: Kathleen Bodden-Harris

Ms. Bodden-Harris noted the timing of the Public Beach cleanup coincided with the end of the holiday break, when the public beach is a popular spot for get-togethers.

She said that the volunteers found plenty of garbage in the area around the beach facilities, including cigarette butts, party decorations, soiled diapers, condoms, food and juice containers and packaging, cans, glass, plastic bags and bottles.

“It was a pure eyesore and embarrassment,” said Ms. Bodden-Harris.

“Most of it was within tossing distance of a trash bin that barely had any contents in it, even after a long holiday weekend. That speaks volumes of the lack of respect for our own island.”

On the Brac’s beaches and coastal waters, Ms. Bodden-Harris said other recent events have been compounding the existing problem of garbage floating to the island’s shores from international waters. For example, local fishing tournaments have led to an increase of discarded fishing line, boxes and containers of bait, and items like beer cans, soda bottles, and remains of ice bags washing up on Brac shores.

Ms. Bodden-Harris minced no words in admonishing local litterbugs, noting that trash in public places is a community issue.

“It’s a privilege, not a personal right, that the government has provided us with a lovely facility and site to enjoy our lovely island,” she said.

“Please stop polluting our public recreational areas, both marine and land.”

Next on the Earth Month activities agenda was an underwater clean-up planned for April 5 at Scott’s dock, followed by a mangrove lecture scheduled for Saturday, April 9, at UCCI at 6 p.m.

Weather permitting, on Tuesday, April 12, at 4 p.m. the Scuba Shack and Reef Divers will hold a joint lionfish cull, and a recycle party is planned for Saturday, April 16, at the Captain’s Table restaurant, with more events planned in following weeks.

For more information on Earth Month events on Cayman Brac, call 916-3960.