In a collaborative effort to honour World Ocean Day 2023 and celebrate Tobago’s rich marine heritage, the Department of Marine Resources and Fisheries, Tobago House of Assembly, embarked on a series of beach cleanups. Partnering with the Department of Environment, Pigeon Point Heritage Park, TobagoARC, and Buccoo Reef Tour Operators and Vendors, these dedicated organizations and individuals united under the theme “Celebrating Our Blue Heritage.”
On the 16th of May 2023, the first cleanup took place at Kilgwyn Beach, where volunteers enthusiastically converged to tackle the mounting issue of marine debris. Armed with gloves, grabbers, trash bags, and an unwavering commitment to their cause, participants combed through the sand and bushes, collecting discarded waste that had accumulated along the shoreline and mangroves. Plastic bottles, cigarette butts, and other forms of litter (some too embarrassing to mention) were meticulously removed, rejuvenating the beach’s natural splendour.
Building on the success of their initial endeavour, the coalition of organizations shifted their focus to Gibson’s Jetty, No Man’s Land, and Windhole, Pigeon Point on the 29th of May. These popular coastal destinations had experienced the effects of pollution and were in need of rejuvenation. With renewed determination, volunteers came together once again, ready to make a difference.
Beyond the immediate goal of cleaning the beaches, this initiative sought to forge stronger relationships with stakeholders in the Buccoo Reef Marine Park. By bringing together various organizations and individuals who share a vested interest in Tobago’s marine ecosystem, the Department of Marine Resources and Fisheries aimed to foster a sense of community and cooperation in protecting and preserving the region’s natural resources.
The chosen global theme for World Ocean Day 2023, “Ocean Planet: Changing Tides,” resonated strongly with the collaborative effort. By celebrating Tobago’s blue heritage, participants recognized the integral role that the ocean plays in their lives and the need for collective action to safeguard its future.
As World Ocean Day draws near, the Fisheries Beach Clean-up Frenzy stands as a testament to the power of unity and environmental stewardship. Through their shared dedication and hard work, these volunteers are paving the way for a sustainable future, one where Tobago’s beaches and marine ecosystems thrive.
The Department of Marine Resources and Fisheries, alongside its partners, looks forward to continuing its efforts beyond this event. By inspiring awareness, fostering responsible waste management practices, and building stronger relationships with stakeholders, they hope to create a lasting impact on the protection of Tobago’s precious marine resources.
In the spirit of “Celebrating Our Blue Heritage,” the Tobago Fisheries Beach Clean-up Frenzy demonstrates that by embracing our collective responsibility, we can change the tides and preserve the natural wonders of Tobago’s oceans for generations to come. Stay tuned for more!