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The day dawned grey and overcast. Having already once postponed the intercoastal cleanup, the volunteers from the St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) were determined that rain or shine, the activity would take place that Saturday in November on Portwee Beach in Mon Repos.
This was a cleanup with a difference! LUCELEC partnered with the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) to drive the digital field categorization of waste collected at the site during the clean-up process.
This proved to be a far more efficient means of waste categorization as previously, items were catalogued manually, post cleanup.
Portwee Beach was one of five locations chosen for Saint Lucia’s observance of international coastal cleanup day.
LUCELEC Corporate Communications Officer Carmy Joseph says the company signed up for the activity in demonstration of its commitment to Environmental Sustainability.
“We are taking part in the International Coastal cleanup campaign, which originally began in 1986. It is to encourage volunteers and other groups to get involved in keeping the environment clean. What we are looking at right now is actually keeping the waterways clean. This is part of our own giving back, our own Power of Caring.”
It should come as no surprise that the most common waste recovered from these types of activities in the country is plastic – harmful because of its devastating negative impact on marine life.
Portwee Beach was specifically selected, given its importance to the livelihoods of community members through the highly active seamoss farm.
The waste collection on this site would yield critical data on the impact of improper waste disposal on the lives of those who use the beach to recreate and generate income from seamoss production and harvesting.
The LUCELEC cleanup collected data for the East Coast part of the CYEN activity. The other areas studied were in the North, South, East and West of the island.
SOURCE: St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited