Committed to starting a “sea of change” to ensure our coastlines remain unspoiled for future generations, Trinidad and Tobago will join the global community in hosting the 2012 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). Last year, over 3,000 volunteers removed 24,633 lbs. (approx 11,173 kg) of debris from the coastlines of Trinidad and Tobago. This year, it is expected that even more debris will be collected, as 23 beaches will be cleaned - 18 in Trinidad on Saturday, September 15, and five in Tobago on October 6.
In an effort to spread awareness and keep beaches and waterways pristine, the Tourism Development Company Limited (TDC) will join the Ministry of Housing and the Environment, the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development (CNIRD), and other members of the ICC National Planning Committee in leading the initiative, which is spearheaded globally by the Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit organization.
The work of the Ocean Conservancy is instrumental in highlighting the global problem of marine pollution, guiding international policy development, and engaging people in protecting the ocean and its wildlife. Last September marked 26 years of the international event, the largest volunteer effort of its kind, and a prominent feature of the ICC continues to be data collection, which is used to measure the amount and type of debris collected worldwide.
Staff of the TDC will take an active role in leading the clean-up at Las Cuevas Bay on Trinidad’s North Coast, which is scheduled to take place from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.
However, the ICC is just one of several initiatives being pursued by the TDC to preserve pristine coastal environments. In 2008, the TDC embarked on the implementation of the Blue Flag program in Trinidad and Tobago in an effort to ensure sustainable development of tourist sites on coastlines, while assuring high levels of visitor satisfaction and the proper management of human impacts on the environment.
At present, six beaches - four in Trinidad and two in Tobago - are on their way to attaining the prestigious and internationally recognized Blue Flag certification. Work is also underway on implementing international health and safety protocols at all sites managed by the TDC to ensure Trinidad and Tobago meets, and in some cases exceeds, international standards of operation.
With the Tourism Development Company dedicated to promoting environmentally-responsible development of our coastline, Trinidad and Tobago’s most popular beaches will soon standout as the world’s cleanest and safest spots for fun, sea, and sun.