Governor attends beach clean-up

| 14/01/2019
CNS Local Life

Governor Martyn Roper and his wife, Elisabeth (front row standing, sixth and fifth from left), with participants at the clean-up

(CNS Local Life): Governor Martyn Roper and his wife, Elisabeth, stopped by a clean-up at Barefoot Beach on Saturday, 12 January, which was organised by Plastic Free Cayman, a non-profit dedicated to reducing single-use plastic in the Cayman Islands, and Red Sail Sports. The couple joined a group of 70 volunteers who were collecting rubbish from the beach.

Plastic Free Cayman said that volunteers removed more than 900 pounds of rubbish, with 90% of that total comprising plastic pollution from various sources.

Ahead of the visit, the non-profit’s founder Claire Hughes and educational coordinator Bill Hughes briefed Roper on what the organisation does to raise awareness of the threat of plastics to the environment, a press release from the Governor’s Office said.

Roper said he was pleased to drop in on the beach clean-up, noting that “people from all walks of life” and all ages took part. “Plastic in our oceans is a growing and serious threat to our environment. Cayman is directly affected as are so many countries around the world,” he added.

“The volunteers and students passionately explained to me their hopes for what more could be done in Cayman and globally to address this defining issue of our times.”

Claire Hughes told CNS her organisation was honoured that the governor attended the event “to learn more about the local issues we face. It isn’t until you see what washes up and how the local littering of plastic harms our beautiful island, that you start to make some lifestyle changes.”

Plastic Free Cayman also said in a separate release that “most shockingly” at the clean-up several buckets were filled with small bits of Styrofoam, which continues “to showcase the growing problem this toxic material plays in our local ecosystems. Much of the Styrofoam was extracted from the shoreline, but many smaller bits still remain in the sargassum, as microplastics are difficult to remove.”

The organisation, in partnership with the Department of Environment, Central Caribbean Marine Institute and international conservationist group Parley, is planning two Little Cayman beach clean-ups on 2 and 3 February that the public is invited to attend.

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Category: Environment

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  1. SW says:

    Thumbs up for the governor!