It’s High Time for Us to #BreakUpWithPlastic!

You may have noticed over the last few years, a certain movement, gaining traction each and every day. The spread of photos and videos showing the devastating effects of plastic pollution completely covering wetlands, beaches, and landscapes have been very effective at getting us to open our eyes to one of the most pressing issues of our time.

In the Caribbean, plastic waste makes up a large proportion of debris reaching the sea from
sources on land. In the ocean it harms marine life, threatens ecosystems, health and the
region’s tourism-based economy. Plastic pollution not only diminishes the natural beauty for
which the islands are known; it also compromises the role of the ocean as a provider of food,
other resources, and livelihoods.

In February 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) launched
the #CleanSeas Campaign to engage governments, the public, civil society, and the private
sector in the fight against marine plastic litter. It aimed to address the root-cause of marine
litter by targeting the production and consumption of non-recoverable and single-use plastic
by engaging citizens to address the problem in their daily lives. More than anything else,
#CleanSeas aims to highlight the scale of the problem.

By April 2019, nine countries in the Wider Caribbean Region had joined sixty other nations in
the #CleanSeas Campaign. These were Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Grenada, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Several of these countries are participating in the IWEco Project which is partially executed
by UN Environment’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP), Secretariat to the Cartagena
Convention, the only legally binding environmental agreement in the Region.
CEP works to support implementation of the Land-Based Sources of Marine Pollution (LBS)
Protocol and the Caribbean Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter (RAPMaLI).
In 2018, it prepared a technical research brief on the implementation of Styrofoam and Single
Use Plastic Bag bans in the Caribbean, and, introduced an interactive map  to help in the tracking of progress. These products are being used to raise awareness, throughout the region, on progress made to reduce marine pollution from trash.

 

WaterWays is proud to be a part of the ongoing education in the Caribbean and the Southeastern United States with organizations like IWeco.

 

Join WaterWays every Tuesday for #TosstheStrawTuesday, and tag us on social media, @mywaterways. Help show your friends, family, and community that you’re breaking up with plastic, one straw at a time.

Caribbean Programme Director Nadia Cazaubon: Is Clear Water Clean Water?

Feb. 20, 2019 (St. Lucia) – Nadia Cazaubon is hard at work in St Lucia. She is busy directing the Caribbean arm of the organization, coordinating with the community, teaching them citizen science, and also looking to expand to new communities.

This talk is the 3rd in a series of 9 talks at the Saint Lucia Knowledge Fair. This event is organized by The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

So what’s the answer? Listen to the talk and find out from Nadia herself! 😉

St. Lucia We Love

The title of the catchy calypso song from a few years ago, St Lucia, We Love, really captured the essence of this trip to our Caribbean home base.  While the traffic was horrendous, the place and people were simply wonderful.  I learned about regattas by being a helper for the Yacht Club’s Mango Bowl Regatta, thanks to Lily!  Two experiences made the trip exceptional. One was all about our young people who have grown up into smart, caring young adults who are doing great things in their communities.  It made my year to talk  to and watch Neige, Kimberly, Keiwa, Kievan, and Pernill in action making their country a better place! The other is working with the

kids of today who are participating in community or school environmental clubs  and who have such great enthusiasm and joy in being together under the watchful eyes of a caring teacher like Valerie or our fabulous colleagues in the Peace Corps, Sean and Sarah, or our very own Nadia! Our reusable grocery bags were a big hit!  The Marigot kids earned money for their projects by selling them all so very fast!  Now we are working with a small grocer to also sell them for us. The grocery stores in St. Lucia no longer give out plastic bags, so this is great timing!

If we all just loved St. Lucia (or our own country) just a little bit more, then maybe our waters would be clean again and the plastic bags and straws and bottles wouldn’t be covering our ocean gyres.  Love St. Lucia!

Gardening for Wildlife means protecting the creek!

May is garden for wildlife month…..and that fits perfectly with our initiatives in Mountain Creek Watershed!  We are partnering with the Chattanooga Area Pollinator Partnership (https://chapollinator.org )and Red Bank Elementary with a nice grant from Tennessee American Water Company to create a pollinator flyway down the Mountain Creek valley to the Tennessee River.  Read more

Visit the Gear Closet for Small Business Saturday!

Small Business Saturday is tomorrow, November 25th!  Since the Gear Closet provides funds for our clean water projects, it’s a great way to save money and help support kids and communities working to protect our water!  We appreciate you!! Read more

Celebrate Stringers Branch

Celebrate Stringers Branch

Come join us in the second special event of our new watershed group, Friends of Red Bank Streams!  Learn about the life of the creek as well as why it is posted “do not touch”….and why the critters ignore that!  Join our watershed group in finding ways to continue to improve and restore Stringers Branch. Read more

World Water Day salute!

Water.  We all require it for life.  We all need CLEAN water and LOTS of it!  Caribbean SEA and TenneSEA work at the grassroots level to empower kids and their communities to get clean water.  The Flint, Michigan water disaster was a wake up call for many to realize that you cannot take your water for granted.  The changing precipitation patterns throughout the Caribbean have led to water scarcity or tremendous flooding events.  Atlanta, Georgia faces water shortages not just because of increases in water use, but also because of changing precipitation patterns.  We CANNOT take our water for granted.

Today, we salute three water champions : Valerie Constantin-Regis, Naomi Abraham Moon, and Randal Hale. Read more

Save Water, Drink Wine 2017 was FABULOUS!

Thanks for the great welcome back!  Save Water, Drink Wine was so fabulous this year!!! Many thanks to our SPONSORS and VOLUNTEERS and EVERYONE WHO CAME for making this our best year yet! Our organizing committee went above and beyond to make it a smashing success.  Cindy Webster, Patrick Emmanuel and Matt Ryan started things […]

A day in Dominica….

Being in the Caribbean in February is usually a reason for envy, but this time the temperatures in Tennessee felt so springlike, it was actually difficult to leave the States!  These first pictures are from Dominica, the Nature Island, where rainforests cover much of the interior and the rainforests of the sea are vibrant and alive….except when they aren’t..  Nearly two years ago, Tropical Storm Erika dumped something like 27 inches of rain on the island in ten hours causing massive flooding and river erosion.  That sediment from the rivers is still heading out to the reefs near Coulibistrie, where my friend Izzy showed me the new deltas that have formed and the small, winding, tree covered streams which are now wide river beds devoid of trees.  Our plan is to evaluate the reefs and work on stream bank stabilization so maybe, just maybe, we can save these reefs.  We will need lots of help. Read more