A total of 4,940 lbs of trash were collected during this year’s International Coastal Cleanup held Friday and Saturday throughout several beaches and coastal locations on island.
Guy Macaranas, Coastal Resources Management’s 2011 Coastal Cleanup coordinator, said the trash collection for this year’s cleanup is lower compared to last year’s, which totaled over 6,000 lbs.
“This is good because it means that more and more people are picking up after themselves when they go to the beach and hold parties,” Macaranas told Saipan Tribune.
Macaranas disclosed that based on the data sheets they collected from the volunteers who participated in the cleanup, cigarette butts comprised the biggest number of trash at 1,601 pieces. Other items collected include plastic and glass bottles, beverage cans, plastic spoons and forks, and Styrofoam plates.
This year’s cleanup had 29 volunteer groups: the Saipan Rotary Club, McDonald’s, Tan Holdings, CTSI Logistics, Fiesta Resort, Hyatt, Saipan Grand, PDM Promoters, Winzler & Kelly, Lions Club, Pacific Islands Club, Northern Marianas College, Phi Theta Kappa, NMC Upward Bound Program, U.S. Coast Guard, Saipan Mayor’s Office, Saipan International School, Marianas Visitors Authority with the NMI Diving Operators Association, Marianas Waterworks Corp., Hard Rock Café, Mt. Carmel High School Red Cross Honor Society Club, Marianas Baptist Academy, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Seventh-Day Adventist, Team Yalaka, POI Aviation, Department of Public Lands, Division of Environmental Quality, and the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.
Macaranas noted that fewer government agencies took part this year. “I believe this is due to austerity Fridays.”
While there are fewer volunteers this year, Macaranas said the event was still a success. “I was happy about the event. It’s very successful because people still came out in spite of the rain.”
Macaranas noted that the islands of Tinian and Rota had their own coastal cleanups, in coordination with the CRM’s field offices and mayor’s offices.
Rota’s cleanup was held Monday while Tinian will hold it on Thursday.
According to Macaranas, the annual cleanup, held simultaneously in different coastlines around the globe, also forms part of CRM’s ongoing Clean Beaches Campaign, which aims to encourage and educate the community about caring for the islands’ beaches and marine resources.
The campaign’s slogan is “Love your beaches, keep them clean.”
Macaranas emphasized that more work needs to be done to educate the community and remind them that “they know better” in terms of caring for the environment.
“If we keep doing these cleanups and educational campaigns, we would have a better tomorrow,” he added.