Jamaica has been ranked 11th among 112 countries which participated in the 2016 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day.
The annual event, which took place on September 17, is the world’s largest volunteer effort for oceans and waterways. ICC involves thousands of volunteers turning who clean coastlines and document what they find, the results of which are published in an annual report.
The 2016 report, which included a ranking of the top 20 countries, was recently released by the Ocean Conservancy, which coordinates the activity globally. Since 2008, the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) has worked with the Ocean Conservancy as national coordinators.
“ICC is an opportunity to educate Jamaicans about where a lot of their waste ends up – on our beaches and in our oceans. ICC also provides a last chance to remove garbage from our beaches before it washes out to sea where it is much more difficult to retrieve, and harm our marine environment,” JET Chief Executive Officer, Diana McCauley, said.
Last year, ICC Day was hosted under the theme ‘Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica’. It focused on increasing the awareness of marine pollution.
Jamaica’s 11th place is associated with the record-breaking volunteer turnout; 138 cleanups took place across the island with 9,276 volunteers covering over 90 miles of coastline and collecting 109,433 pounds of garbage.
Since becoming national coordinators in 2008, JET has been supported by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) which sources ICC activities in Jamaica.
ICC 2017 will be launched in July and takes place on September 16.