June 12, 2018
Environmentalists, NGOs, students and residents on Grand Bahama turned out in strong numbers to march for the protection of our oceans on Saturday.
The event which took place on June 9th – just one day after the international observance of World Oceans Day was the result of an alliance formed between seven of the island’s environmental partners and coincided with ‘March for the Ocean’ – a global awareness initiative.
Spearheading the local initiative was reef restoration firm Coral Vita.
Though one of Grand Bahama’s newest environmental advocates, the international company whose interests are geared at the preservation of coral reefs in Bahamian waters, is equally concerned about the overall health of ocean bodies.
The company joined forces with Save The Bays, The Bahamas National Trust, Earthcare, GB Nature Tours and other environmental protection groups including the KGBC Committee to execute the event.
“We could not have been more pleased with the turnout for this event” said Coral Vita Scientist, Stephen Rason.
“The level of support we received from our environmental partners and even from the general public is a testament to the fact that more of us are becoming aware of how things we do in our day to day lives, impact the environment – most importantly the ocean.”
Over 100 participants dressed in blue and converged at the Lion Club lodge in Freeport for a 4 mile clean up march to Williams Town Beach.
After prayers for residents to be better stewards of our earth by KGBC member Edith Gardiner, concerned citizens were treated to presentations by Jinnel Sturridge of the Bahamas National Trust and Jensen Sweeting of Save The Bays.
The event also provided participants with an opportunity to learn about the work of local environmental partners, as well as, enjoy a bird watch and tutorial with renowned birder, Erika Gates, who shared the importance of the oceans for birds.
“Oceans really are the lifeblood of our planet” explained KGBC Co-Chair, Olethea Gardiner.
“As an archipelagic nation, The Bahamas, relies heavily on the bounty of our oceans for food and sustenance, but there must also be balance.
We must do everything we can to protect the ocean so that it will continue to serve us well into the future” she said.
During the march, participants picked up approximately 70 bags of debris as they walked Beachway Drive, showing residents who drove by that litter is destroying our country.
“It’s sad to see that we have collected this much garbage on a well-known tourist route,” said GBPA Director, Rupert Hayward, who marched with his wife and two young children.
“All of these groups can tell you what damage garbage does to the earth, but its destruction to our ocean life – which is a large part of our livelihood, is worse.
I am so pleased with the turn out today and hope we inspire others to think before they throw trash.”