Jamaica Launches “Adopt a Beach” Cleanup Program


By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamiaca’s National Environment and Planning Agency has launched a clever new environmental initiative: “Adopt a Beach.”

The beach cleanup drive aims to encourage people of all ages to become “directly involved in cleaning the coastlines.”

The program will allow groups, communities and individuals to select and clean up beaches on either a monthly or quarterly basis, as a means of maintaining beach areas and minimizing marine litter.

Communities and groups are given garbage bags, gloves and other tools necessary for their cleanup projects.

According to Deleen Powell, public relations officer at the NEPA, the initiative was the result of the need for ongoing cleanup efforts beyond the once-per-year efforts of International Coastal Clean-up Day.

“We do not want people to just come in and clean up the beach on that day and then forget about the issue; we want it to continue year-round. So last year, during ICCD, we spoke to persons about the way that they generate waste in their daily activities and try to get them to avoid those kinds of practice,” Powell said.

Those who participate are required to adopt a beach for a minimum of one year, and must engage in at least four clean-up exercises over the period, including the annual coastal clean-up day.

“NEPA provides resources and technical support to the groups; we provide them with a list of possible sites that could be selected for their ‘Adopt a Beach’ initiative… so once they have selected that beach, they sign an adoption contract with NEPA agreeing to the requirements,” she said.

For more information, visit NEPA.

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