KBB calls for people to join island-wide coastal clean-ups

Residents were told this week that taking part in island-wide coastal clean-ups is “essential” to help reduce ocean pollution.

Keep Bermuda Beautiful announced that its annual event will cover more than 60 beaches and shorelines from September 29 to October 9.

A spokeswoman added that community coastal clean-ups in every parish will take place on the weekends of October 1 and 2, and October 8 and 9.

The programme, sponsored by EY Bermuda, is the island’s biggest marine conservation event aimed at tackling litter problems as well as global ocean pollution.

Traci Burgess, the executive director of KBB, said: “Engagement with KBB is at an all-time high and our reach across the island is expanding every day.

“One of KBB’s key objectives is to minimise the toxic impact that single-use plastics are having on the environment and on human health.

“SUPs are literally choking our local marine environment and wreaking havoc on the world’s oceans.

“Unfortunately, some of the damage that’s already been caused is irreversible, but there is hope.”

She added: “It is important that everyone takes immediate action to help stem the harmful tides of ocean pollution, which is why participating in the coastal clean-up is essential.

“Furthermore, reducing our personal consumption habits, saying no to SUPs and voluntarily cleaning-up in our local communities are three impactful ways that each of us can make a positive difference every day.”

The spokeswoman said that impact from the coastal clean-up went “well beyond Bermuda’s beautiful shores”.

She added: “Data collected from the island-wide coastal clean-up is reported to the Ocean Conservancy, a global research and advocacy organisation that tracks and reports on ocean pollution around the world.

“Ocean Conservancy also coordinates the annual International Coastal Clean-Up, which Bermuda participates in every fall.

“Because of Bermuda’s unique geographical position in the middle of the Atlantic gyres, local data collected plays a critical role in identifying global patterns of waste circulating throughout the world’s oceans.

“Such patterns can help KBB and other environmental organisations develop solutions to help combat ocean pollution, both locally and globally.”

EY has been the title sponsor for the coastal clean-up since 2016.

Joel Edwards, an associate partner, said: “Sustainability and playing a positive role in the communities in which we work aligns with our EY purpose of building a better working world.

“We commend KBB’s efforts and are proud to be lead sponsors of this very important initiative which helps preserve and protect our local ecosystems.”

Ms Burgess added: “We appreciate EY for their ongoing support of Bermuda’s biggest ‘marine clean’.

“The 2022 Coastal Clean-Up is bigger than ever and, because of the resources provided by EY, the event’s impact across Bermuda continues to increase year over year.”

She said: “As one of the island’s leading environmental charities, funding is a critical need for KBB to continue taking greater action and expanding our delivery of environmental education programmes.

“Action and education are two of the best methods of producing real results in reducing waste, eliminating litter, preserving and restoring the environment, and beautifying the island.

“KBB is grateful to EY for their multifaceted commitments to the environment.”

Royal Gazette