The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality is organizing an Islandwide Cleanup this month as part of Ocean Conservancy’s 32nd International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest single-day volunteer effort to remove trash from beaches, waterways, lakes, rivers and parks.
This aims to create awareness of the negative effects of plastics that become ocean debris and the public’s participation in getting rid of this scourge.
Plastics are one of the visible and most prolific threats facing the ocean today but they are also one of the most preventable. Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste flows into the ocean, entangling wildlife, polluting beaches, and costing coastal municipalities hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.
Since the first International Coastal Cleanup 32 years ago, over 12 million volunteers have removed more than 228 million lbs of trash that have ended up in coasts and waterways.
Last year in the CNMI, 1,040 volunteers recovered 5,491 lbs of trash from local waterways, shorelines, beach strands, and islandwide.
On Rota, the Islandwide Cleanup will be held on Sept. 15, from 7:30am to 2:30 pm. The contact persons for Rota are William T. Pendergrass of BECQ/DCRM/DEQ and Malcolm Johnson of BECQ.
Contact Pendergrass at firstname.lastname@example.org or 532-0466, or Johnson at email@example.com or 285-9401.
The event will be participated in by BECQ, Office of the Mayor of Rota, private and public schools, government agencies, the public, businesses, non-profit organizations, and general contractors.
On Tinian, the cleanup will be held on Sept. 15, from 7:30am to 2:30pm and the contact person is Edwin Hofschneider of Tinian BECQ. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 285-0852.
On Saipan, the event will be held on Sept. 23, from 7:30am to 2:30pm. The contact persons for Saipan are Mallory Muña and Jihan Buniag, both of BECQ. Contact Muña at email@example.com or 664-8504, or Buniag at firstname.lastname@example.org or 664-8513.
BECQ used to be two separate agencies: Coastal Management and Environmental Quality. It was consolidated into one agency by then-Gov. Eloy S. Inos on Nov. 12, 2013, under Executive Order 2013-24.
BECQ’s mission is to serve the public through wise management of the CNMI’s natural resources, and by supporting healthy communities, a sustainable environment, and a vibrant economy.
With BECQ’s environmental protection efforts, they remain a key driver in promoting environmental and social responsibility initiatives in the CNMI. Activities such as the International Coastal Cleanup help pursue environmental initiatives to induce economic stimulus and achieving corporate social responsibility goals.