For many of those enjoying a vacation on Ambergris Caye, itÂs the beaches that attract them. Â Like many coastal regions around the world, thereÂs a rising problem of litter on these pristine havens. Â However, many of the residents of San Pedro have now come together to clean up the areas and restore the coast to its former beauty.
As part of 2013 International Coastal Cleanup Day, September 28th saw a large number of environmental groups and local residents come together to form work parties. Â Hol Chan Marine Reserve led the activities, with the groups concentrating on cleaning up the beach areas close to the turtle nesting sites on the northern coat of Ambergris Caye.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve revealed that several of San Pedro High SchoolÂs fourth form students participated, in addition to those from Oceana in Belize, San PedroÂs LeoÂs Club and the Belize National Coast Guard. Â There was a large amount of garbage collected on the day, with 13 huge garbage bags of trash filled with items such as straws, plastic utensils, syringes, plastic bottles, and medical waste.
However, the cleanup around the turtle nesting site wasnÂt the only activity going on, and the Ecologic Dive Shop had also organized their own cleanup of the beaches. Â Using two of their boats, staff from the shop headed out to the Boca del Rio channel, where they sifted for waste that had settled on the seabed floor. Â Utilizing snorkeling gear and trash bags, staff worked their way over the seafloor and through mangroves picking up litter as they came across it.
Last year, Belize saw 1,000 volunteers work along over 25 miles of coastline to remove 8,696lbs of trash. Â Over the entire planet, more than 600,000 volunteers participated in picking up nine million pounds of litter.
With the operation of cleaning up Ambergris CayeÂs beaches deemed a success, Oceana in Belize and Hol Chan Marine Reserve are thanking everyone who helped to get rid of the waste that had littered the islandÂs beautiful beaches and turtle nesting sites. Â Not only is picking up the trash vital to preserve the natural habitat, but clean beaches are also essential if tourism is to continue growing. Â Those wanting a vacation on Ambergris Caye will now be able to enjoy pristine shores once again.