The Coastal Zone Management division of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources is celebrating the annual International Coastal Cleanup, also known as COASTWEEKS, with events to help remove trash from local beaches and to gather data about what is found.
COASTWEEKS is a nationwide effort coordinated by The Ocean Conservancy for the past 30 years in the U.S. Virgin Islands with the help of many community partners.
“Removal of debris is important to maintaining the vibrancy and aesthetic quality of our ecosystems. Collecting data during cleanups is also an important process that ensures we capture vital information such as the types, quantities, and weight of debris removed,” said DPNR Commissioner Jean-Pierre L. Oriol in a press release announcing the upcoming cleanup at Fortuna Beach on St. Thomas.
“Without this data, removal of the debris on its own will not prevent and reduce debris from ending up on our coastlines,” said Oriol.
The Fortuna Beach cleanup will take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Volunteers and students in need of community service hours are invited to help with the effort. Supplies such as gloves and bags will be provided, said Oriol. Participants should bring a refillable water bottle, and wear comfortable clothing and footwear.
If you have a group and want to participate in the program by cleaning up Fortuna Beach or any other beach, contact Zola Roper, marine debris coordinator, at 340-774-3320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.