Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CNMI Coastal Cleanup Day

Beautify CNMI began its fourth year of service this year. Started with the simple idea of making the Commonwealth a better to live and visit, for going on four years now we've cleaned up beaches, roads, and tourist sites, planted trees, painted over graffiti, and promoted recycling and coral reef conservation.

In our first year we planned and executed an island wide cleanup called 1020 on 10/20, with the idea of having at least 1020 volunteers help us spruce up the island on October 20, 2006. Not only did we reach our goal of 1020, but we surpassed it by recruiting over 3000 volunteers.

Earlier this year in April we did it again and were even more successful. The weekend before Earth Day 2009, 27,070 lbs of trash were picked up by 4,140 volunteers from 61 volunteer groups at 54 adopted sites on Saipan.

Next month we hope to do it again with CNMI Coastal Cleanup Day.

Following the same model as the other two large cleanups, we are asking volunteer groups to adopt a beach for a day (and hopefully for a year!). We'll provide the tools and the trash pickup, you just provide the volunteers and a little bit of coordination.

From the Division of Environmental Quality:
Hundreds of volunteers throughout the CNMI are expected to clean their beaches next month as part of the world’s largest volunteer cleanup effort.

The 24th annual International Coastal Cleanup is Saturday, September 19 – from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate. Saipan and Tinian are scheduled to participate on September 19, and Rota’s event is on Friday September 18.

On Saipan, a number of groups have already adopted beaches, including South Lao Lao and Cow Town, according to the Division of Environmental Quality. However, dozens of other beaches still need volunteers.

Several groups are working together to coordinate events on Saipan and Tinian, and the Coastal Resources Management Office is taking the lead on Rota.

The International Coastal Cleanup is the world's largest volunteer effort to help protect the ocean, according to the Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated solely to protecting ocean environments and marine life.

Last year, nearly 400,000 volunteers hit their local beaches, lakes, and rivers with a common mission of improving the health of the ocean and waterways. On one day, they removed and tallied 6.8 million pounds of debris, from 6,485 sites in 100 countries and 42 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

DEQ will retrieve and properly dispose of the trash collected from the cleanup on Saipan.

Cleanup supplies – garbage bags and gloves which were purchased with funds from a generous Bridge Capital donation – will be available at DEQ the week before the cleanup.

Interested participants are encouraged to sign up for the event so that organizers may arrange for proper pick up and disposal of garbage.

To request a signup sheet for Saipan or Tinian, contact Lisa Huynh Eller, Olivia Tebuteb or Carlos Ketebengang, DEQ, at 664-8500 or email - lisaeller@deq.gov.mp. For information about Rota’s event, contact William T. Pendergrass, ICC Coordinator, or MJ Taisacan, CRMO Administrative Clerk, at 532-0466 or fax 532-1000.
Contact me for a sign up sheet and I will send you one. We will have a listing of all the cleanups up on the Beautify CNMI website soon.

In the meantime, photos from this year's Island Wide Cleanup can be found on the Beautify CNMI Facebook Fan Page here and here.

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