ON a day when most youngsters would be glued in front of the television watching cartoons, Kingsway Academy’s fifth grader Sierra Blair was hard at work participating in a coastal clean-up initiative spearheaded by Etienne Dupuch Jr Publications Ltd.
“At the end I was tired, but I had a lot of fun doing it,” said the ten-year-old. “We got rid of a lot of garbage. You could see the difference.”
From 8.30am to 10am on Saturday, February 8, Sierra and four employees of Dupuch Publications collected more than 20 bags of trash from along the shores of Delaporte Beach.
The most commonly found trash items included food wrappers, bottles, cans and plastic – which, if washed into the ocean – could endanger the marine life.
More unusual finds were an old tyre, wooden crates, scrap metal, a duffle bag and a child’s toy.
The weekend clean-up wasn’t the first time the leading publishing house has gotten down and dirty on the beach.
Co-ordinating the initiative was Etienne Dupuch III, the company’s vice president. He also participated in the clean-up.
“This initiative shows a few people can make a difference in keeping the beaches and coastal system clean and free of garbage for Bahamians and visitors alike. People noticed the difference immediately,” said Mr Dupuch.
“We are all beneficiaries of the country’s natural assets including the beaches, colourful coral reefs and crystal clear ocean. Cleaning the beaches keep garbage out of the sea and away from the nearby coral reefs. It is our duty to make every effort to keep the coastal ecosystem lean and preserve it for future generations.”
The Ministry of Tourism designated February as “Sustainable Tourism Month,” and emphasised the importance of beaches to tourism and the Bahamian economy.
“It’s never too early to teach our children the importance of keeping our surroundings clean,” said Sierra’s mother, Dupuch Publications writer and clean-up volunteer, Tosheena Robinson-Blair.
“We tend to keep that lesson of cleanliness confined to our home and school, but it’s equally important that children learn we have a collective responsibility to keep The Bahamas clean.”