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.
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! 😉
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!
On Monday, homeschooler Cash, his little brother Colt, his mom, and TenneSEA staff Sara finally found a day without rain to venture out to Audubon Acres and make some observations of North Chickamauga Creek. As we were walking to the creek access, we quickly realized we were not the only ones in the woods. Read more
We have five Stream Teams already registered with us this fall, and we have even more groups around Chattanooga interested in signing up!
So far, we have Red Bank Elementary School Stream Team looking into quarantining a section of Mountain Creek off from the Forest Kindergartners at their school. They want to measure the water quality of the creek before and after to determine the impact of the Forest Kindergartners. The Red Bank High School Stream Team is working to determine places they can do small-scale stabilization projects to minimize erosion of Mountain Creek’s streambanks.
The middle and high school Stream Teams at Ivy Academy have been collecting baseline data of the North Chickamauga Creek that runs directly beside their school. They are currently making observations of their creek and brainstorming which project they want to take on to improve their watershed. Read more
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