“Daunting but not insurmountable!”
Such was the response of KBB Executive Director Traci Burgess when asked of the arduous task of effecting a clean-up of Bermuda’s coastline, one bruised and battered by the recent, passage of Hurricane Fiona, which seriously eroded many local beaches and left much of the coast in disarray.
But the devastation wrought by the storm has instead inspired the group in its purposed mission, one specifically designed for occasions such as the present, with this year’s Annual Island-wide Coastal Clean-up set to commence Friday, September 29 and run until October 9.
“KBB’s mission is to reduce waste, eliminate litter and beautify the Island through action and education and the annual Island-wide Clean-up is one such example of actions and people in action,” explained Ms Burgess.
“We have over 60 locations that are included in this year’s coastal clean-up, most of those locations have already been adopted, but we are doing nine community clean-ups, one in each of the nine parishes and the public is encouraged to go online to the KBB.bm to sign up for any of those nine areas.”
Backing the charity in it’s effort this year is long-time sponsor EY a global strategy consulting firm.
“We’re thankful to EY for their ongoing partnership and support of the event, they’ve been our title sponsor since 2016,” furthered Ms Burgess. “KBB is almost 60. It came out of the Garden Club. It was started as a committee of the Garden Club in the early 1960s and in 1964 it became its own independent charity.”
Meanwhile, Joel Edwards Associate Partner at EY spoke to the congruency of intent between the two organisations, which has made for a rewarding, benevolent partnership.
“At EY we have a number of pillars, in terms of how we want to contribute to communities,” said Edwards. “It’s about education. It’s about sustainability. It’s also about entrepreneurship.
“So we look to execute on those three or four pillars and KBB, having been around for so long, touches all of those pillars, the education side, the sustainability side, but also it creates the sort of community and entrepreneurial spirit, whereby we view this as a great partnership.
“We’re very excited about the work that Traci and KBB do and that’s why we’ve been the sponsor for seven years.”
Aside from the annual event, one which paints KBB in significant spotlight, Ms Burgess was keen to note the day to day activities that have persisted from the charities inception up to the present.
“Aside from the big events such as the annual Coastal Clean-up and the regular clean-ups that we do almost every day throughout the year, we do have a dedicated education and community outreach programme — multiple programmes,” said Ms Burgess. “We are in all of the public schools, delivering litter lessons throughout the year.
There’s a big focus on single-use plastics as well, trying to reduce, reuse and recycle, but reduce being one of the key words we use to emphasise the need to get away from single-use plastics.
“A lot of the single-use plastics are ending up in the ocean, contributing to the problem of ocean pollution, which is one of the reasons why we have to do the coastal clean-up every year.”