This is a blog asking for your support in helping us do a Beach Clean Up this coming Monday, August 23rd.
We will be at MaTi Beach from 7 Am onwards helping to get rid of all of the trash that has accumulated on MaTi beach. MaTi beach is on the far side of Marigot Bay, just past Bay Nettle and it is a wonderful place. The water here is protected from almost all sides, so it is always super calm. This has allowed for a different type of ecosystem to develop here, with large areas of shallow eel beds providing shelter for all sorts of wildlife. It is am important nursery, full of interesting and unusual creatures, and we would really love your help if you can spare a few hours. Besides cleaning up the beach, we are helping to clean up the surrounding water in the bay by doing a snorkel clean. We will mark out areas in the water and then snorkelers will be picking up trash and putting them in mesh bags.
This is an exciting event as it is the first ever Beach Clean Up that is a collaboration between both the French and the Dutch sides on the French Side. What does that mean? Well, it basically means that on the Dutch side there have been clean up before that involved both sides of the island, but not on the French Side. The French side, well… it is always a little more complicated to do things. There is a certain way that things need to be done here, petitions that need to be filed, support staff that needs to be trained and on site, health and safety regulations, etc. So, after climbing through all that red tape, finally it is all coming to a head.
It has been organized by Monica Monroy. She is originally from the States, but after coming on vacation to Saint Martin and falling in love with Sebastien from the Grand Case Beach Club, she now lives here and is an asset to the community, as she is always devoting her time to good works! She helps with the local Dog Rescue organizations and now she has organized this beach clean up. This is the email that she sent to me summing up what is going on:
“The participating partners come from all sectors, business, government, community groups and visitors. It may well be the very first event of its kind on St. Maarten and we’re hoping that it will be the first of many.
The clean-up will serve a variety of purposes. In addition to the obvious, the cleaning of the beach, the “Sandy Ground on the Move” community organization will benefit from practical training in waste separation, the students visiting from the Kellogg University in Chicago will take part in a community action (project) and all resident participants will have the opportunity to prepare for the ICC in September. It is hoped that individuals will come forward to form an environmental association to continue with future clean-ups of both beaches and communities on the French Side and that this association will work alongside SXM Pride.
The Collectivity of Saint Martin will provide support in the form of tents, tools, a truck and technical services. The waste management “Espaces Services” will provide guidance on waste separation and will receive all the trash collected from the beach. Sandy Ground on the Move will provide manpower, tools and a truck. Octopus Diving will be providing snorkel gear and a support boat. The St. Maarten companies that are coordinating the cleanup are 37 Beaches and GOOD2GO. Sponsors include Breweries Unlimited, Antillean Liquors, Creole Rock WaterSports, Shipwreck Shops and others (details to be confirmed on Wednesday).
We are delighted to be able to present this wonderful community action to your blog followers 🙂
In addition we will have an information session at the Sandy Ground Cultural Center on Thursday from 10am to noon. Fliers will be emailed out later today.”
That was from Monica. So, I know a lot of you would love to come out and help, but are at home either in the States, or Canada, or in England, or France, or South Africa, or…. well… all over I suppose, so you can’t. However, your good thoughts and wishes are always welcome and next time you are in Saint Martin, maybe there will be a clean up taking place that you can participate in.
If you are in Saint Martin, and you would like to help out, then just send me an email at email@example.com or just come to the beach between 7 AM and noon. I will take some photos and post them on the blog after we get back.
Also, if you send me an email on Monday, and I don’t get back to you right away, or if you see that the shop is closed, this is the reason. Just come to MaTi Beach and not only will you get some free snorkeling, you will be able to help Saint Martin’s wildlife, community and overall good health!
(Sally wrote this blog:) )