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
“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
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
“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
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
To contact KBB log onto: www.kbb.bm or phone