Bermuda Sun... Beyond the Headlines

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Keeping Bermuda beautiful after Igor

Amanda Dale

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Staff from JP Morgan went to work at Chaplin Bay, clearing debris from the hurricane-battered beach . *Photos courtesy of Keep Bermuda Beautiful
Megan Brock, a volunteer at John Smith’s Bay, (pictured left) shows just a small amount of the trash to have washed up on our shores.

An army of 400 volunteers got to work at the weekend, cleaning up our shoreline post-Hurricane Igor.

Thousands of pieces of plastic were washed up by the storm surge, creating a mammoth task for clean-up crews.

Anne Hyde, executive director of Keep Bermuda Beautiful (KBB), said: “We saw an increased amount of marine plastic debris that was thrown up on our shores during this hurricane.

“The plastic debris had been at sea for a long time and was broken and worn to an unrecognizable state.

“Thousands of pieces of plastic were picked up along the South Shore beaches, but unfortunately thousands are still left behind.

“This is a growing problem in the North Atlantic Gyre [a large system of rotating currents] where varying sizes of plastic are fouling our ocean waters.

“There is no quick remedy; giant nets cannot scoop the plastic up.

“But everyone can play a part to make sure man- made debris does not go overboard if you are fishing, picnicking or out on the water.”

Despite the plastic invasion, Ms Hyde was buoyed by the level of community spirit in Bermuda.

Volunteers combed 27 locations, from St. David’s to Dockyard.

“It was a wonderful sight to see residents join together to help clean up after the hurricane,” she said.

“A real cross-section of the community picked up tons of man-made debris off the beaches, rocky shoreline and our national parks.”

The original event — planned for September 18 — was cancelled due to Igor, but Ms Hyde said the revised date meant the volunteers had “a greater impact”.

Global fight

Saturday’s event also coincided with the Ocean Conservancy charity’s International Coastal Clean Up.

Up to 90 countries take part every year, sharing data on trash collection in coastal areas and beaches.

Among the volunteers taking part in the KBB clean-up were members of Bermuda Sub Aqua Club.

Divers trawled St. David’s public dock in low visibility, retrieving 11 bags of glass bottles, two bags of trash, metal pipes and a boat engine.

“Marine creatures can become trapped in glass bottles, which last for centuries, so this is one item in particular that divers always remove,” Ms Hyde said.

Dozens of corporate organizations, sports groups, scouts, students and families also took part in the clean-up. Trash and debris was trucked away by the Parks Department and Works and Engineering Waste Collection teams.

Ms Hyde said: “Of particular note were the large groups from West Pembroke Primary School, Dellwood Middle School, Bermuda College, the Paget Titans Youth group, the Bermuda Sub Aqua Club, staff from Dolphin Quest, ACE Insurance and SAS Protection Services.

“Even though the volunteers were not able to get the beaches completely litter-free and back to a pre- Igor state, the event was considered a great success.”

To contact KBB log onto: or phone 295-5142. 

• Stalwarts of the storm: Unsung heroes of the Parks Dept.

Related Links:
• Keep Bermuda Beautiful

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