Last year, in cooperation with the SPTB, we started cleaning the beaches up North (between Journey's end and Costa Maya), after many tourists complained about trash on the beach. This concerns only man-made trash; not sea grass.
Although we (Portofino), we have been cleaning the stretch from La Perla to Scott's house (3/4 to Costa Maya) bi-weekly or monthly (depending on trash on the beach), we have contacted the resorts to do a large cleanup during the next week.
Mata Chica is going to clean south to Journey's End. Between Mata Chica and La Perla are mainly private houses with well mainained beaches, so no cleanup is needed there. Portofino is going to clean up from La Perla to Scott's house. Costa Maya will take it from there half way to Belize Legacy. Belize Legacy is going half way to Blue Reef. And Blue Reef does the last half.
Very cool Jan. In beach cleaning campaigns like this its very helpful to analyze the trash as to its origins. It would be valuable to hear from the collectors their opinion on where different trash originates. I used to believe it was all the sins of other country's dumping garbage at sea but the Project AWARE beach cleanup in 2006 showed 40% local origin. Sadly I see some evidence of tour guides dumping plastic water bags, forks, spoons, plates, tinfoil and general food preparation garbage from unaccommodating the tourist lunches on their boats. Another interesting garbage is the black nylon rope and white Styrofoam balls that are from offshore commercial fishing. offering deposits on soft drinks and beer bottles is a valuable asset to anti litter campaigns as well as deposits on water containers. Identifying the sources can start changes like creating or raising the deposit amounts, helping in a preventive way almost as much as the cleanup itself. http://www.projectaware.org/
Pam I believe the Large plastic bags may be a clean up campaign gone bad. I witnessed a clean up campaign last year collect tons from the beach and deposit it in large black plastic bags on the end of all the docks up north to be picked up later ...the later never came and storms blew it all back into the sea, black bags and all.
THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS --- --- Hurray for a clean beach - let's make it a long-term commitment. This kind of push is great - and it needs a commitment to pick up at minimum once a week thereafter. The weekly cleaning is easy after a big push, and it is the way to make the positive impact we seek.
For the past few months I have been paying $2Bz a bag for beach trash picked up and delivered to our pier. We have kept the beach pretty nice from lot 14 Mata Grande going south down to Murphy's old house. It's not always easy to find people to do the pickup (frequently I do it myself), but somebody can pick up 4-5 bags an hour and that is a pretty good cash-wage for part-time work. Last year I had a successful 6 month run at this program as well and I intend to keep it up. We pick up trash in big black bags and we put them on the end of a pier and we pick it up and we take it away within a day. Not sure who picked up tons of trash and let it blow away (was it the Reef Village area clean up?) - but what are you going to put it in if not bags? Elbert if you see a pile of unclaimed basura on a pier again, let me know and I'll have one of my boat guys fetch it.
Our little stretch of beach has produced in excess of 250 large bags of trash since early December --- still, at $2Bz a bag we are talking about a piddling sum to keep the place clean.
The thing that burns me up is the beach rakers that clean one lot and pile the junk on the neighboring beach - or the even more ridiculous practice of raking the trash INTO the sea. The employers of these guys need to get in on this program too. Probably the worst single offender in the area is Journey's End. Despite endless requests to management and staff at JE, it remains a horrible garbage heap directly to the north of the resort - and that is also JE's property. I want to give particular cudos to the new owners at Mata Chica for their attention to their parcel of land to the north of the hotel - that was a real eyesore until they took over and it is beautiful now. Many gringo residents keep their own beach clean but ignore vacant property very nearby - that kind of "not my problem" mentality needs to cease - glad to see the "get it done" attitude arriving as this exciting and necessary collaborative campaign shows.
Yea for clean beaches - next thing is when you take a walk, put a coconut or two in the sand along the way and help replenish the areas where trees have died. It just takes a moment.
The area North of me and docks north of me, I'm not sure who's campaign it was . anyway Yea Diane Go Girl. Your right about the neighbors lot ,I should take a role in cleaning the lot next door as well. Another act to save the coconuts takes a little nerve but going onto vacant lots infested with the beetle cutting and burning the head at the right time before the larva mature is a huge setback for the coconut beetle population.
We finished our stretch last week and all our staff participated. Costa Maya promised to do Scott's house till Belize Legacy, and the last I heard from Belize Legacy, they were contacting Blue Reef. No news from Mata Chica at this moment. I'll email around for an official update. We want to keep this going on a bi-weekly but at least a monthly basis, and I am considering to increase our stretch.
Hi Jan --- I just rode my bike from my house (near Mata Grande Studios) down to Journey's End --- so here is the eyewitness report .......... THE JOB IS DONE AND IT'S FABULOUS - I'll check out the stretch north of us to Mata Chica, but it's likely to be done also.
Thanks to everybody - for the first time in years i wanted to call out to the tourists - talk a walk, you will love it .........
Now let's keep it this way !!!!!
Elbert - the idea of policing beetle infested trees is excellent - let's all try to do that - it's smart and the right thing to do.
I encourage everybody to take a beach walk today and to see how wonderful the place can look if we all just pitch in - it's positively inspirational.