KBB celebrates World Oceans Day
In celebration of World Oceans Day, Keep Bermuda Beautiful (KBB) has lined up several events for June 7 — 9. KBB's Executive Director Anne Hyde said, “We have so much going on that we couldn't fit it all into June 8 which is the official World Oceans Day, so the events are scheduled for the next three days.” Also included are events co-organised by the Celebrity cruise ship “Summit”, XL Catlin, Artex Risk, and Warwick Academy's Eco Club.
Kicking off the World Oceans Day celebrations, the officers and crew members from the Celebrity “Summit” did a KBB cleanup along the Moresby Plain shoreline in Dockyard on Thursday, June 7. In one hour, the team gathered approximately 600 pounds of debris, most of which had floated to Bermuda from hundreds of miles away. They found such items as commercial fishing crates, nets, rope, buckets, and other plastic debris. The local litter found was mainly beer bottles.
Later Thursday afternoon, Anne Hyde from KBB, Beth Neale from Bermuda Zoological Society, Davida Morris from Greenrock and Weldon Wade from Guardians of the Reef came on board the Summit to give presentations on a variety of environmental topics, respectively, ocean plastic pollution, the Kids on the Reef programme, the Eco Schools programme and invasive lionfish. The collaborative presentations were organised by the Summit's Environmental Officer Stavros Vavias and KBB's Anne Hyde.
Globally recognised, June 8 is “World Oceans Day” and sanctioned by the United Nations as an annual celebration of the important role the oceans play in our lives. The world's oceans are the lungs of the planet and provide half of the oxygen we breathe. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said, “Everyone needs to play a part. You can make a difference today — and every day — by doing simple things like carrying your own water bottle, coffee cup and shopping bags, and volunteering for a local clean-up.” This year's action theme for World Oceans Day is preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.
KBB's Anne Hyde said, “I am pleased to welcome back the Summit crew for another season in Bermuda. KBB has worked with them in the past to do beach cleanups, and this year's goal is for the ship's crew to make more connections with a variety of environmental organisations. Earlier in the year, the executive directors of KBB, Greenrock and BEST were invited aboard by the ship's Environmental Officer to discuss possible activities during the Bermuda run which goes until October. KBB is always excited to form collaborative partnerships that lead to greater engagement and understanding of environmental issues. We are happy to work with our sister-charities and the Celebrity line which has a strong environmental policy. The collaboration will include activities on board as well as on shore. This seems like a good reciprocal exchange of information and experiences as the ship's crew hail from 65 different countries. Today's beach cleanup and presentations in celebration of World Oceans Day are just the start. On June 8, Greenrock has planned for Dellwood's Eco Club students to tour the ship's waste management section where crew sort, flat-pack and store waste from the 5,000 people on board which will be offloaded at the end of the cruise in New Jersey.”
Early Thursday evening, KBB's Anne Hyde met up with the Warwick Academy Eco Club members, led by student Kiran Bhola, at Church Bay in Southampton to provide cleanup supplies and give praise to the students who worked hard to clean the beach. They found large quantities of plastics that had washed ashore, much of it being small microplastics which is very time-consuming to clean up.
XL Catlin's Global Day of Giving will take place on June 8, and about 25 employees have chosen to do a KBB beach cleanup starting at 9am at Southlands Beach in honour of World Oceans Day. Also on June 8, Artex Risk employees will spend the afternoon cleaning up the Railway Trail from Palmetto Park to Flatts as part of KBB's Adopt-A-Spot Programme.
On Saturday June 9, KBB is hosting its monthly cleanup at Red Hole in Paget and the surrounding shoreline from 9am — 12pm. Volunteers are welcome to join in as part of the World Oceans Day celebrations. Later that day, Weldon Wade and Monica Dunstan are hosting a beach cleanup starting at 2:30pm at Daniel's Head in Sandys. Volunteers are welcome to join the afternoon beach cleanup. All participants are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottle.
“It's heart-warming to see more and more people becoming aware of environmental issues”, concluded Ms. Hyde who runs the day-to-day operations for the KBB charity, “and our collective actions are adding up and making a positive change to the health of our Island and the ocean that surrounds us. Happy World Oceans Day!”
• Press release from Keep Bermuda Beautiful