Matura Beach Cleanup 2017
Volunteers brace inclement weather to clean up Matura beach for Turtles!
Despite inclement weather volunteers flocked to Matura Beach to give their support to Nature Seekers in cleaning up the shorelines on Sunday March 5, 2017, in preparation for the incoming season of turtle nesting.
Over 1,200 persons from numerous community, youth and corporate groups throughout Trinidad attended this annual event in a bid to create a hazard-free environment for the vulnerable species of the leatherback turtle to nest safely.
Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries who attended the event commended Nature Seekers and the community of Matura for taking care of the environment in their area and encouraged communities to do the same.
Volunteers initially faced challenges in accessing areas that needed cleaning as the inclement weather, high tides and the eroding shorelines made access difficult. However, with perseverance and teamwork volunteers were able to clear over 1.5 miles of beach from garbage and debris. Collectively approximately 150 bags of plastics, paper and glass were collected.
The event featured new elements as this year Nature Seekers engaged Hydra-STATION to provide filtered water which volunteers refilled using their own bottles and cups. At the close of the event, based on the quantity of water distributed, over 712 plastic bottles of water were saved from our nation’s landfills. This equated to the saving of over 30 cases of plastic bottles.
Additionally, community artisans from Nature Seekers’ Craft Unit hosted a “Make it Yourself Craft Corner” which was quite popular. Here attendees were guided in making their own hand bands, necklaces and earrings all using the recycled glass beads created by the organization.
The ever popular Sand Turtle Competition featured 24 groups who all sought to create the most life-life leatherback turtle on the shoreline. In the end three organizations were victorious. The 3rd place went to YTEPP, 2nd place was awarded to Bishops (BATCE) 6th Form and the winner for this year’s Sand Turtle Competition was T&T Youth Ambassadors. The competition was judged by Ms. Lori Lee Lum (IMA), Mr. Ricardo Meade (El Socorro Centre for Wildlife Conservation) and Mr. Owen Joseph of Nature Seekers. Special prizes were awarded to the Shining Star Youth Group for Group with Most Children; Pathfinders for the Largest Group and the Earliest group prize was awarded to Sheppard Security.
Special thanks goes out to event sponsor BHP Billiton and Mr Sheldon Narine who played a pivotal role in supporting the organization. The Forestry Division also played an integral role by providing permits for all volunteers who attended the event. Nature Seekers is also grateful to Tropical Shipping, Mr. Adrian Cupid of CSF Couriers, Xtra Foods, Unilever, Bermudez and Crystal Waters for their great contributions and wishes to also thank our industry partners and exhibitors – EMA, TVT, IMA and the El Socorro Centre for Wildlife Conservation for their support.
Nature Seekers appreciates the efforts and support of all volunteers and encourages the public to put environmental conservation as a priority. The public is reminded that the turtle nesting season is currently open and closes in August.
Check out the event photos HERE.