Guy H. Benjamin School Students Clear 100 Pounds of Trash from Haulover Bay

GBS fifth grade students cleaned up Haulover Beach and kept detailed records of what they found.

Guy Benjamin School students got their hands dirty while making Haulover Bay clean last week.

Students in grades four through six at GBS combed the east bay of Haulover on Wednesday morning, October 5, as part of the month-long celebration of Coastweeks.

Under the direction of V.I. National Park education specialist Laurel Brannick, the students filled a total of 12 bags with about 100 pounds of  trash.

“There were lots of stinky things like ropes from ferries and barges and plastic bottles and jugs and lids and fishing line,” said Brannick. “The kids worked really hard and did a great job.”

The students spent about an hour on the beach and managed to clean up the entire area, Brannick added.

“It was really hot that morning and the kids did an excellent job,” she said. “We worked for about an hour and we covered the whole beach.”

GBS’ Haulover Bay cleanup was the latest in the ongoing observance of V.I. Coastweeks, which kicked off with International Coastweeks Cleanup Day on September 17. Coastweeks is celebrated territory-wide and supported by Ocean Conservancy, V.I. National Park, VI Marine Advisory Service, Waste Management Authority, Coastal Zone Management and Friends of VINP.

Drunk Bay was the first area cleaned on September 17 by Friends of VINP. The group removed about 200 pounds of trash from the area, filling up 14 bags of debris, explained Friends programs manager Audrey Penn.

Other beaches cleaned during Coastweeks include Brown Bay, Jumbie Bay and Mary’s Creek, where Gifft Hill School students rescued a Hawksbill turtle hatchling among the debris. The turtle was turned over to VINP’s chief of resource management who released the hatchling on Trunk Bay.

It’s not too late to get involved; there are more beach clean ups planned throughout October, according to the Friends’ program manager.

“We also have several beaches available for people to adopt and take care of all year long,” said Penn.

For more information on VI Coastweeks, joining a coordinated cleanup or Friends’ Adopt-A-Beach/Trail Program contact Penn at the Friends at 779-4940 or email [email protected]