NEPA Celebrates World Ocean Day With Palisadoes Clean-Up

June 5, 2015

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) will on Monday June 8 mobilize its staff, partners and stakeholders to clean up a section of the Port Royal main road in Kingston. The activity is being coordinated in celebration of World Oceans Day.

This clean-up is particularly significant as it will be staged in the Palisadoes-Port Royal Protected Area, one of Jamaica's four wetlands of international importance.

Anthony McKenzie, NEPA's Director of Environmental Management and Conservation Division said the Agency has set the ambitious goal of removing 500 pounds (226 kg) of solid waste, particularly plastics, from the shoreline.

"Last year 177,794 plastic beverage bottles were collected from Jamaica's shorelines during a one day coastal clean-up event. This was the second highest total in the plastic bottle category in the entire world," said McKenzie.

He added that while the Agency stages clean-ups sporadically and provides support to communities seeking to organize similar events, the hope is to eventually reach the stage where such interventions are unnecessary.

"If we as a nation work together to reduce the amount of disposable plastics we use it will be a great step towards shrinking the amount of plastic trash in our seas and along our shorelines. I therefore implore Jamaicans to not just engage in clean-ups but to take action to prevent plastic pollution in our waterway and oceans," he said.

World Oceans Day is recognized by the United Nations as a day for celebration of and action for the ocean. This year's theme is 'Healthy oceans, healthy planet.'

Members of Staff from the National Environment and Planning Agency sift through and bag solid waste at Little Plumb Point, Port Royal on Monday, June 8 on World Ocean Day . Plastic bottles were separated from the waste stream to facilitate recycling.
Deleen Powell (left), Public Relations Officer at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and Architect Planner Winston Quest weigh a bag containing solid waste collected from Little Plumb Point during a clean-up staged by the Agency in celebration of World Oceans Day on June 8. More than 500 pounds of solid waste were removed from the coastline by the NEPA team during the four hour clean-up. The most frequently collected items were plastic PET bottles and the remnants of Styrofoam products.

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February 16, 2015