680 Volunteers Remove 12,000 Pounds Of Litter

October 1, 2017

EY joined with Keep Bermuda Beautiful [KBB] for a cleanup of Bermuda’s shorelines, with 680 volunteers removing 12,000 pounds of litter and debris from beaches, shorelines and coastal waters spanning 36 locations across Bermuda, KBB said.

“We are delighted to have EY as title sponsor since 2014 and help Bermuda participate in the world’s largest coastal cleanup,” said KBB Executive Director Anne Hyde.

“We also welcome our new sponsor Butterfield Bank who are keenly interested in marine conservation.  Butterfield & Vallis and BGA donated trash bags and snacks for the event.”

The clean up was held on September 16th, a date was chosen by Washington, DC-based Ocean Conservancy as part of an International Coastal Cleanup involving more than 100 countries.  All participants were asked to become ‘citizen scientists’ for the day and gather important data by tallying each piece of litter, while bagging up the debris.

KBB Infographic

KBB’s mascot, The Litter Critter, visited the EY office and Butterfield Bank to help kick off the event.  One hundred employees from each company signed up.

EY split their team to two difference locations while Butterfield Bank created a massive team at Warwick Long Bay.   A Butterfield & Vallis team came back to clean up the same spot as last year on North Shore in Devonshire.

“EY was once again proud to be the title sponsor of the EY Bermuda Coastal Cleanup in conjunction with Keep Bermuda Beautiful [KBB],” said David Brown, EY Senior Partner.

“My wife Angie and I joined over 40 other EY employees in cleaning up the Horseshoe Bay Beach area and we had a similar EY team working to clean up the Tobacco Bay area. It was a great day working with KBB and our EY team in helping to keep Bermuda beautiful and it was also a reminder that we all have a responsibility related to environmental sustainability.”

A wide variety of groups registered for the event including corporate organizations, sports and civic groups, students, families and neighbours. The many ways of participation included diving, snorkeling, kayaking and beachcombing.  It was hard work for a few hours but volunteers could see the results immediately.

Corporate teams were from EY, Butterfield Bank, Chubb, Southampton Princess Hotel, the US Consulate and Butterfield & Vallis.  School teams were from Saltus Grammar School, Warwick Academy, BHS, Somersfield Academy, Sandys Middle School and the Bermuda College.

Area residents from various neighbourhoods took an active part in cleaning up shorelines in their neighbourhoods including Parsons Bay, Pilchards Bay, West Whale Bay, Church Bay, Grape Bay, Doe Bay, Spittal Pond, Paynters Park, Shark Hole, Baileys Bay, and Mullet Bay.

Additional participation came from BIOS, BSAC divers, Dolphin Quest, the Association of Filipinos in Bermuda, the International Womens Club, the Rotary Clubs of Hamilton and St. Georges, the Sandys and Smiths Parish Councils, Xroads Warriors Football Club and numerous families.  Hundreds of students who are required by their schools to do community service participated.

KBB said, “Some unusual items found this year included carpets, a 6-seater golf cart that went overboard off a cliff, a large crate that had travelled from New Hampshire and a bed pillow which are all local items.

“Bermuda is situated near the center of the North Atlantic gyre which is a series of currents that circle up the coast of Florida, cross over top of Bermuda and then circle down past the coast of Africa.  The strongest current in this gyre is the Gulf Stream which comes up from the Gulf of Mexico and brings debris from other countries with it.

“Ocean trash is a growing problem around the world.  Tons of marine debris, particularly plastics, gets washed up on Bermuda’s shore during the course of the year.  It is especially apparent after a storm surge.  While most of the debris floats from hundreds of miles away, some of it is Bermuda’s trash.

“Bad boating habits or being careless with a beach picnic can contribute to what gets into the ocean.  Wind and rain can also wash litter from the land into the ocean.  Trash travels from roadside to storm drain to the ocean.  Once at sea, the trash poses a threat to marine life by entanglement or ingestion.

“Sea turtles die from ingesting plastic bags and balloons, or by getting tangled in discarded tangles of rope.  Birds, fish and turtles are being negatively affected by man-made debris.

“During the EY Bermuda Coastal Cleanup, KBB volunteers found 12,000 pounds of trash along the shoreline or in coastal waters.  Participants were asked to tally each item of litter they found.  There are forty-one categories of litter items listed on the data collection cards.

“Amongst the tons of litter and debris collected, the list included a shocking number of 25 balloons found at Shelly Bay, 1,002 glass beer bottles found at Astwood Park and dozens of octopus pot traps found along the South Shore at Grape Bay and Doe Bay.

“The most interesting item was found on Cooper’s Island and is believed to be part of a container spill from three years ago that caused thousands of HP cartridges to wash up on the UK coastline, so it is unusual that two would track to Bermuda around the currents forming the North Atlantic gyre.

“The data is sent to Ocean Conservancy who is headquartered in Washington, D. C. and will be compiled for the 2015 Ocean Trash Index.  Last year, more than 500,000 volunteers in 112 countries picked up over 18 million pounds of litter and marine debris.

“By conducting this once-a-year research, countries are able to identify the source locations and lobby for legislative changes to reduce ocean pollution.  To see the full report from the 2016 cleanup, go here.

“It was an amazing show of support from Island residents who joined the EY Bermuda Coastal Cleanup this year.  492 adults and 188 students participated. Many volunteers indicated that they had fun volunteering, being part of a team, helping to do something good for the community and learning more about caring for our environment.”

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Mangrove Bay Parish Council 01

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Black Bay Dolphin Quest 7

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Doe Bay Whitehead 1

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Mangrove Bay Parish Council 3

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Mangrove Bay Parish Council 1

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Blue Hole US Consulate Team 6

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Whalebone Bay BIOS 1 (2)

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Jews Bay SHP Team 02

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Astwood AFB Team 01

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Devils Hole Xroads 6 lrg

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Warwick Long Bay BNTB Team 5 meet Caroline (3)

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Tobacco Bay EY Team 10

Citizen Scientists Bermuda Sept 29 2017 Tobacco Bay EY Team 01

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Comments (13)

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  1. Davie Kerr says:

    Well done to all those volunteers for removing so much rubbish, but it’s just so sad that an island as small as Bermuda has such a terrible rubbish problem in the first place…..

  2. Kay Bee Bee says:

    Thanks to all of the volunteers that helped with the KBB clean up. I can’t believe I didn’t even know it was going on. I would have liked to get a team together and help.

    • inna says:

      Dont wait, call to schedule another clean up sponsored by your company!!

    • Keep Bermuda Beautiful says:

      Bermuda takes part in the International Coastal Cleanup which is always on the 3rd Saturday of September every year. Please email KBB (office@kbb.bm) and ask to be added to their newsletter so we can let you know when KBB clean ups will take place.

  3. Toodle-oo says:

    Well done and a huge thank you to all involved . That’s a lot of trash .

    I guess we’re not that ‘pristine’ after all .

  4. NCM says:

    Incredible what gets thrown overboard and in the bushes. Thanks to all who participated!

  5. puzzled says:

    60% of the items collected are local.

    • Keep Bermuda Beautiful says:

      KBB would welcome your assistance to calculate percentages for us on what is local litter and what has drifted to Bermuda’s shores by ocean current and come from far away. Please get in touch office@kbb.bm

  6. Once Upon A Time says:

    Wow! Amazing. Thanks to all the volunteers.

  7. A Bermudian says:

    Great job! To all who volunteered, thank you!

  8. Hope says:

    Thank you to everyone who helped on this!!! You are all amazing people with true hearts.

  9. Sara says:

    First off thank you so much to all that participated in this. And secondly I would beg and plead on bended knees to anyone reading this to please stop using single use plastic. It is killing our beautiful oceans please just think about it. It really isn’t that hard once you put your mind to it. And there are gonna be times where you can’t help it but if you have the mentality that you aren’t going to then it will go a long way I promise! Also I would like to plead to please stop busting beer bottles in the ocean. Why on earth are you doing this? It just doesn’t make sense! Please stop doing it and have some respect for this earth that gives us life!

  10. Spilt milk says:

    National pride anyone? #KBB