To help reduce marine debris, experts advise individuals to refuse, reduce and reuse single-use plastics
More than 4,600 pounds of marine debris was removed from mangrove shorelines during the 2022 Great Mangrove Cleanups that took place on May 7, in Coral Bay, St. John and on June 24, in Salt River, St. Croix. A total of 64 community volunteers, ages three to 67 participated in the clean ups.
On St. John, the top three items removed were beverage bottles (818; including plastic, glass, and cans), plastic pieces (474), and construction materials (238). There were also several weird finds, including the hull of a boat, a car door, two boat rudders, two propane tanks, a scuba tank, 17 flip-flops and other shoes, a GPS unit, a boat propeller, six paddles, and a purse.
On St. Croix, the top three removed items were beverage bottles (794; including plastic, glass, and cans), plastic pieces (299), and food wrappers (163). Weird finds in St. Croix’s mangroves included a “Romancing the Wind” DVD, a tiki torch, a fake plant, a plastic doll, and a fire extinguisher.
The 2022 St. Thomas and St. Croix Great Mangrove Cleanups were supported in partnership by the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Center for Marine & Environmental Studies, the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Coastal Zone Management, Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service, The Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VI- EPSCoR), Coral Bay Community Council, BushTribe Eco Adventures, Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority, Atlantic Trucking, the National Park Service, the National Science Foundation INCLUDES SEAS Islands Alliance, GROEE USVI Mangroves, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Marine Debris and Coral Reef Conservation Programs.
More information is available in a news release on the Media Section of the UVI Website-www.uvi.edu/ - and from this direct link