Students at Susannaberg Transfer Station on a field trip with the Coral Bay Community Council.
Photos provided by CBCC. [hr gap=”1″]
On two recent public school holidays, the Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC) held its second Environmental Justice youth event entitled “Too Much Trash: What do we do?” at the Guy H. Benjamin Community Center in Coral Bay. About 25 high school students participated from the Junior ROTC Program at Eudora Kean High School and Gifft Hill School.
CBCC’s second Youth in Action in St. John event was funded by a U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Justice grant. The territory’s serious solid waste management issues – and solutions – were the focus of the presentations and discussion. Mario Leonard, Director of the Solid Waste Division- St. Thomas, and Kysha Wallace, Acting Communications Manager, of the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority explained the solid waste handling process and citizen’s responsibilities, and the dollar cost. Gary Ray, Ph.D., board member and volunteer of the Island Green Living Association, spoke about the importance of recycling and repurposing our trash. Jim Casey, EPA’s Virgin Islands Coordinator, spoke about government and citizen responsibilities to properly handle and dispose of litter and trash, and protect our environment, especially our waters.
Students also participated in the development of a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video with volunteer videographer, E. Franklin Tulloch. A field trip to the VIWMA Susannaberg Transfer Station and the Island Green Living Association Resource Depot, gave students the opportunity to see how solid waste is managed and recycled locally. CBCC thanks all of the presenters and Ms. Veronica Pozas, teacher at Gifft Hill School and Col. Alfred Francis, leader of the Junior ROTC program at Eudora Kean High School for bringing their students to participate in this event.
The first “Youth in Action on St. John” event took place from December 28-30, 2015 at the Calabash Boom Residents Center. Last year’s event was a mixture of fun activities, interactive demonstrations, and dynamic speakers. It was an educational experience for the youth, covering such topics as an introduction to environmental justice, what it means to be a part of a neighborhood and community, an introduction to nonprofit organizations, consequences of illegal dumping and ghut littering, and more. The youth participated in the cleanup of the Hard Labor Ghut, as well as beginning the process of creating the Public Service Announcement (PSA) video, which was completed during the second event. Watch for the video to be released with the youth message to the whole Virgin Islands on stopping illegal dumping and ghut littering.
These events were funded under a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Justice Grant intended to expand participation by all people as advocates for clean water and clean air and a healthy environment for all.
For more information, please call Sean Richardson at the CBCC office at (340) 776-2099 or email Sean at [email protected].