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Clarendon Leos secure the coast

Published:Wednesday | September 21, 2016 | 12:14 PMShanique Samuels
Volunteers show the amount of garbage collected last Saturday during the 31st Annual International Coastal Cleanup Day.

ROCKY POINT, Clarendon:

Equipped with gloves, rakes, data cards and garbage bags, 40 volunteers gathered at a small, secluded beach along the Rocky Point Port Road in Clarendon last Saturday to participate in the 31st Annual International Coastal Clean-up Day coordinated by the Leo Club of Clarendon.

President of the Clarendon Leo Club Tissona Ormsby said International Coastal Clean-up Day is a major calendar event for the club because the group is very passionate about environmental preservation.

"It was appalling to see the condition that this coastal area was in, so we decided to take a step outside of our comfort zone to coordinate our own clean-up instead of assisting other organisations, as we normally do. This was made possible through guidance and funding from the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET)," she said

Ormsby told Rural Xpress that she was pleased with the turnout and the results of the clean-up. "Initially, we were expecting only 25 volunteers to show up, but we nearly doubled our expectations. We have transformed this area into an oasis, thanks to the volunteers who put their hands, heart and sweat into keeping our coast clean."

Echoing similar sentiments, volunteer Taralace Farquhar expressed joy after seeing the transformation of the coastline. "I joined this beach clean-up because it is close to home and I like being involved in activities that will benefit society. It was certainly satisfying to see the natural beauty of the beach and port after majority of the garbage was removed," she said.

International Coastal Clean-up Day has been coordinated globally by the Ocean Conservancy since 1985 and locally by JET since 2008. It is the largest one-day volunteer event in the world and is also used to educate persons about where our waste goes, and its impact on the environment.