The Scout Association of Belize is tomorrow embarking on its National Coastal and River ways cleanup. The cleanup is part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Ricardo Alcoser is the National Coordinator for the cleanup.
Scout Association of Belize
“It is a nationwide effort; we have been doing it for the past 21 years in collaboration with the parent organizer which is Ocean Conservancy – they have been doing it for the past 27 years. It’s actually not a cleanup campaign per se but rather a data collection; we record all the information on specially provided data cards from Ocean Conservancy to record everything that is out there from plastic bags to bottle stoppers, diapers and even the proverbial kitchen sink; everything that is in our coastal water ways. It’s being done from Corozal Town to Punta Gorda in Toledo; it’s basically the coast and the water ways which includes the rivers. We have a group doing San Ignacio, Santa Elena and even in Belmopan. All these water ways, eventually the trash would lead to the sea so we need to clean it up one time before that reaches the sea and it affects marine life and it affects our economy and our beautiful Belize. Because it is organized by the Scouts Association, we have a lot of different groups within our country who participate and we also invite environmental groups, junior colleges, non-governmental organizations and we also have government organizations like the Belize Tourism Board, the Department of the Environment, Belize Coastal Zone Management, all of them participate. We don’t always get in touch with all the environmental groups but it is a good idea for them to contact us; we try to do this through a network, like I said we have been doing this for 21 years and it is through our network that we try to get everyone involved but we can’t get to everybody.”
Coca Cola is partnering with the Scout Association and Alcoser explained why partnerships like these are of importance for the initiative.
Scout Association of Belize
“As you know the Scout Association is a nongovernmental organization, we rely on the kindness of other organizations to help us especially the businesses and that requires a lot of garbage bags and gloves because we need to collect this information and the garbage out there; all the debris that is lying around. Coca Cola has been involved since day one with Ocean Conservancy and through their parent company in Atlanta, they forward all the information so all the Coca Cola Companies can be involved and Coca Cola is one of the corporate sponsors and they are the ones who have been helping Belize since the start of our cleanup for the past 21 years and so it is very good that they help us and we also have other organizations that help us; other businesses that assist us especially with the garbage bags and the gloves. We have an approximation of 1600 volunteers who have expressed concern in coming out; what the numbers will be, we will have the exact number after we do the cleanup provided on the data cards. I can tell you last year we had five hundred and ninety eight volunteers picking up over seven thousand seven hundred pounds of garbage in a span of almost 13 miles and hopefully we get more persons involved and we cover a wider area here in Belize. The Belize Waste Control in Belize City and the Town Council in Corozal and the other coordinators throughout the country organizes for all this garbage to go to the garbage dumps throughout the country.”
The cleanup will begin at 8:00 o’clock tomorrow morning.
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