A group that calls itself Saipancleanup was able to collect over 1,000 lbs of trash during several weeks of picking up trash in different sites on the island.
Logan Mister, who coordinates the cleanups, said he was prompted to spearhead the cleanups after he, his brother, and friends found large amounts of trash whenever they’re exploring the pocket beaches on Saipan. “We were amazed by the huge amount of trash everywhere. We also saw a deceased juvenile shark and it was a sad sight to see,” he said.
The group did a cleanup last week Wednesday and was focused on the pocket beaches in Dandan, but also visited several sites where illegal dumping was taking place. Mister said they collected around 20 bags of trash in all.
“We would definitely do more, but we have to carry all the trash to the road which is about a half-mile hike away,” he said.
Saipancleanup recently had more cleanups and averaged around 10 volunteers or more helping out.
One of the volunteers, Grace Choi, said, “When I see the debris, it makes me think about how much plastic I use throughout my day-to-day life. I never really thought twice about plastic products, but now all I can think about is what I can do to reduce the amount of plastic I use every day. Avoid single-use plastics as much as possible while learning more about what harms or helps our environment,” she said.
“The ocean has given us so many resources and joy. It is our duty to keep it clean and free from trash. Please love our island, this paradise, by being responsible for your own trash,” said another volunteer, Louisa Han.
“I hope to educate the island that our marine environment is our future and we need to take care of the gem that we are given. I want there to be a reef for the future generations to enjoy,” said Mister.
He thanked all volunteers for their time and help , as well as Micronesia Island Nature Alliance and Bureau of Environmental Coastal Quality for giving the group the necessary supplies.
For any updates on cleanups or if you would love to join, visit their Instagram page @saipancleanup. (Chevy Alipio)