GREAT RESPONSE FOR INT’L COASTAL CLEAN–UP DAY Friday 24th September 2010
Response from stakeholders, volunteers and environmental agencies to the Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association and the Ministry of Tourism led, International Coastal Clean–Up Day, to be observed on September 25th, has been exceptional, that’s according to the AHTA, General Manager Neil Forrester.
Forrester explained that a significant number of volunteers have signaled interest to participate in the event. “I am extremely happy, the response, so far has been great, over fifteen organizations have come forward and identified eleven beaches that would be cleaned on Saturday.”
The AHTA, general manager indicated this is a significant move since it is only once each year, thousands of volunteers hit the world's coastlines to remove marine debris in the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup Day.
He noted however that although the the event removes solid waste from the environment, the greater purpose of the cleanup day is to educate and encourage the wider public to participant in solving the problem of marine debris, in light of the fact that Antigua & Barbuda depends predominantly on our beaches as part of the tourism product.”
Meanwhile, another tourism stakeholder, the Cruise Tourism Association has joined the call to polish the nations’ beaches.
President of the Antigua & Barbuda Cruise Tourist Association Nathan Dundas, said, a full fledge team comprising various stakeholders, Brysons and tour operators will be out in their numbers.
He disclosed that Sand Haven was the beach selected for the Cruise Tourist Association's clean-up, since a large volume of passengers from the ships visit that location on a regular basis.
“Cruise Tourism plays a very big part in Antigua especially as it relates to mass volume of visitors coming into our shores and visiting our much publicized beaches. This is a very big attraction for us in terms of marketing our destination. And as such we feel inclined to be a part of this National initiative to get our beaches cleaned –up.”
Additionally, the Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) has selected the Pigeon Beach and Windward Beach. Other stakeholders identified for participation in Saturday’s Coastal Clean –Up Day, are Early morning swimming group (Fort James Beach), AUA & ABHTI (Jabberwock Beach), Antiguanice.com & Sports Fishing Club (Galleon Beach) , 5am Hiking group (Weatherall's), Antigua Hash House Harriers (Pensioners Corner), Ministry of Tourism (Ffryes ), Institute of Regenerative Truth ( Hawksbill 1st Beach ) , Sanctuary Choir & Environment Division (Valley church) , Bryson’s Group and Cruise Tourism Association (Sand Haven) , Optimist Club of St John’s (Runaway Beach).
Also on board providing support are the National Solid Waste Management Authority and CBH. Anjo Wholesale, Kim Derrick, Townhouse Megastore and Antigua Home & Office Depot have also stepped up to provide support to the volunteers in equipment and refreshments.
The clean-up will take place from 9.00am to midday on Saturday 25th September and the public are urged to join with one of the above groups to help beautify our beaches and clear them of unwanted garbage. The event will kick off with a short ceremony at 8.30am on the beach in front of Sandals Grand Antigua when Minister of Tourism Hon John Maginley will address the volunteers and encourage them in their efforts.
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