TSTT joins forces to cleanup Great Courland Bay, Tobago

TSTT volunteers work together to sort, record and remove garbage from Great Courland bay, Tobago
Port of Spain, Trinidad, September 17, 2018
The Great Courland Bay in Tobago was restored to its original, pristine state on Saturday September 15th as TSTT employees along with volunteers from non-governmental organizations, police youth clubs, schools, private organizations and employees of the Tobago House of Assembly came out in their numbers to support the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup activity.
This annual exercise was spearheaded by the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment and TSTT has supported this venture for the past 9 years. Enterprise Marketing and Communications Manager, TSTT, Onica Blackman who also took part in the cleanup activity noted that the TSTT family recognized the collective responsibility to take care of the environment. “The employees of TSTT look forward to the coastal cleanup each year as we believe the environment is everyone’s business and we all have an important role to play in protecting and preserving it for generations to come.”
Plastic and glass bottles, cans, snack wrappers and some quite unusual items were among the articles found on the shoreline. The items were collected, packaged and weighed by representatives of the Division. TSTT staff also brought along their children to take part in this unique learning opportunity. Raie-Ann Beckles, the daughter of employee, Paula Beckles, was excited to be part of the cleanup exercise, recognising the importance of keeping the island’s beaches clean. “As a youth I think it is very important to be aware of your surroundings and keep it clean. We live on an island with many residents and visitors here, so it is important to keep the beaches clean for the wellbeing of the environment and the people.”
Representative for Plymouth/Golden Lane, Assemblyman Marisha Osmond was pleased with the level of support the THA received. She said, “It is important to us to keep our beaches clean and it builds team spirit. I am ecstatic because I was here last year and the volunteer count was not as large as this. So I am very happy to see such a turn out, everyone is putting their hands on deck to ensure that the beach is clean for us to enjoy.”
Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment, Councillor Kwesi DesVignes, visited various beaches across the island including the Great Courland Bay.  He expressed immense gratitude for the support from the various entities and noted, “This is a very important activity because it raises awareness when you realize how much garbage is really taking over the beaches. We also have a duty to protect our seas because it is a major source of food.” The Secretary issued a challenge to all Tobagonians, “I would like each person who took part today to go and tell a story of how much garbage they collected on the beach.” He was heartened by the number of young people and men who were involved in the exercise.  On Saturday, volunteers from various organizations also visited beaches in Roxborough, Belle Garden, Lambeau, Speyside and Bacolet, while on Sunday they visited Sandy Point and Kilgwyn beaches.

Representatives of private entities also took the cleanup activity to Milford Bay, Scarborough. Over thirty years ago, the ICC activity was started internationally by the Ocean Conservancy Office of Pollution Prevention and Monitoring.

 Adults and children alike came out in their numbers to support the cleanup efforts at Great Courland Bay on September 15

The weighing process - volunteers removed several hundred pounds of trash from the beach

Removing trash from crevices was all part of the day's work

Men at work! 

TSTT volunteers work together to sort, record and remove garbage from Great Courland bay, Tobago