2007 V.I. Coastweeks Beach Cleanups Begin Sept. 15

Saturday, September 15, 2007 is International Coastal Cleanup day, and also marks the beginning of V.I. Coastweeks, a three-week period where community members rally together to remove debris from beaches and coastlines to protect marine species and habitats and collect valuable information on the amount and type of debris found.

This event is supported by Friends of V.I. National Park, Environmental Protection Agency, University of the Virgin Islands’ V.I. Marine Advisory Service, V.I. Coastal Zone Management Program, and V.I. Waste Management Authority (VIWMA).

The Coastweeks beach cleanups will begin on September 15 and continue through October 6. Last year more than 1,000 volunteers cleared away 19,255 pounds of trash from the territory’s beaches.

Friends of VINP encourages the St. John community to take part in this important event through the Friends’ Adopt-A-Beach/Trail Program, wherein a volunteer/volunteer group will adopt a site, (either a beach or a trail) and become responsible for keeping it clean for one year (during V.I. Coastweeks, Earth Day, and in between as needed).

Friends of the Park will provide supplies (trash bags, gloves, tools, etc.) for the cleanup, and the V.I. National Park Service and VIWMA will remove the collected trash from the site.

Beach cleanups can be lots of fun. Make it a party — bring food and beverages — encourage as many people to participate as possible.

Anyone interested in joining a scheduled beach cleanup can help Friends of the Park remove debris from Drunk Bay September 15. Please contact Kristen Maize at the Friends, 779-4940, for more information about the Adopt-A-Beach Trail Program and V.I. Coastweeks.

Anyone interested in participating in a cleanup on St. Thomas can contact: Kemit Lewis, at UVI’s VI Marine Advisory Service, at 693-392; Lillian Moolenaar, of the VI Coastal Zone Management Program at 774-3320 x. 5117; or Keshema Webbe of the EPA at 714-233.