How Rachael is helping to keep ocean clean
A nine-year-old girl has raised $275 for charity after being sponsored to collect bottles dumped in the ocean.
Rachael Betschart removed hundreds of discarded bottles after Cup Match.
The idea for the clean-up came while she was boating one weekend, when a family friend challenged her to collect bottles.
After gathering 15 in just an hour, Rachael became intrigued about the amount of litter in the water and kept clearing them.
Her mother, D'Arcey Betschart, said: “Our friend, Alan Marquardt, challenged Rachael with collecting bottles while we were on the boat one weekend, to keep her busy.
“He offered her ten cents for every bottle she collected.
“My husband and I matched that donation.
“So when we went out on Cup Match weekend up to King's Point, anchored beside a group of friends, she continued that challenge.
“She realised after the first day, when she collected 66 bottles, that she could raise a lot of money.”
Rachael went from boat to boat during the raft-up, asking people to match the ten cents per bottle for charity. She decided to give the money to Keep Bermuda Beautiful.
Over the weekend she collected almost 250 bottles, raising $275.
As well as bottles, she also found shards of glass, plastic cups and other trash. The Non-Mariners Race showed her how easy it was for items to float away and then sink.
KBB's president, Amy Shillingford, applauded the donation, noting the dangerous amount of broken glass in the water.
She urged people to dispose of trash responsibly because litter posed a threat to humans, as well as wildlife.
Volunteers for KBB will join people from more than 100 countries on September 19 to pick up trash from the ocean and shoreline as part of Ocean Conservancy's annual International Coastal Cleanup.
To take part, contact KBB on 295-5142.