Sandals goes beyond garbage collection at Fisherman’s Beach
SANDALS Resorts’ participation in Saturday’s International Coastal Clean-up Day turned out to be far more than collecting and tallying garbage recovered from public beaches near its properties in Negril, Montego Bay, St Ann and St Mary.
For Lyndsay Isaacs, regional public relations manager, St Ann-St Mary, leading a busload of 50 Sandals volunteers, mostly employees on their day-off, to clean-up the Fisherman’s Beach in Runaway Bay, St Ann, was just another day in the outreach activities the resort chain undertakes in the informal community where she is referred to as ‘Ms Lyndsay’ by its grateful residents.
After bagging 115lb of garbage collected at the Fisherman’s Beach, Isaacs was surrounded by eager children and parents alike as she distributed school supplies as part of Sandals Foundation’s “adoption”, she termed it, of the area mirroring many others throughout the island, informal settlements with little or no infrastructure to support human waste.
“It is an ongoing project in this area,” Isaacs pointed out. “Sandals has unofficially adopted the area, conducting back-to-school activities, Christmas treats and classes on Saturdays for various age levels. The Fisherman’s Beach is one of the many communities we work with to help improve the lives of residents.”
“We not only clean the beach, but we also have quizzes, educating all about the importance of keeping their surroundings free of garbage,” she added.
Describing the beach clean-up as “interesting”, Isaacs noted how beach erosion, and general uncleanliness, caused by improper waste disposal, has impacted the area.
“The sea has taken up the shoreline, which is all but gone. Not only that, the place was filthy with all kinds of garbage and plastic bottles in the mangroves. It was an eye-opener for our approximately 50 volunteers, most being first-timers from Sandals Ocho Rios and Sandals Dunns River,” she added.
As part of its efforts to encourage cleanliness and coordinated waste disposal at the Fisherman’s Beach, Sandals had donated a garbage skip, which Isaacs noted, has since exceeded its capacity as the population of the informal community increases with newborns spawning up to four generations in households.
Sandals’ participation in International Coastal Clean-up Day is led annually by its environment, health and safety team.
“International Coastal Clean-up Day is a calendar event for all our properties throughout the Caribbean with similar work being carried out across all regions,” Isaacs explained, pointing out that St Ann and St Mary had most volunteers covering two parishes.