CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS – On Saturday, September 17th, 2016 Newcastle Bay was the site of a major cleanup initiative undertaken by the Newcastle Fisherfolk Association. This year, Ocean Conservancy officially designated September 17th as ‘International Coastal Cleanup Day under their “Trash Free Seas” awareness.
In support of this activity and in an effort to drastically reduce the refuse accumulation at this particular landing site, the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) donated a large capacity trash receptacle. The NHCS Executive Director, Nicole Liburd, in handing over the large metal bin to Mr. Derek Didder who is Vice President of the New Castle Fisherfolk Association, provided a brief background.
According to Ms. Liburd the NHCS, in conjunction with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis through the Department of Marine Resources (DMR), last year began implementation of the a project intended to establish two Marine Managed Areas (The Narrows Marine and The Narrows Fishing Priority Area) in St. Kitts and Nevis.
This initiative falls under the climate resilient Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Network (ECMMAN) project, led by the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The programme is administered by the UNEP-CEP Specifically Protected Areas and Wildlife programme and its Regional Activity Center (PAW-RAC) and the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Management Network (CaMPAM).
Newcastle Bay is the main landing site for the planned Narrows Marine and Narrows Fishing Priority Area. Purchased under the aforementioned project, the large capacity bin also aims to manage the amount of land based trash flowing into the sea and damaging the fragile marine environment.
Present at this brief but significant handing over ceremony was Nevis Island Administration’s Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries et al., the Honourable Alexis Jeffers. Minister Jeffers applauded the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) for donating this large capacity trash bin to the fisherfolk based at the New Castle Bay. Speaking on Saturday, the Minister said: “The importance of this gesture is that it demonstrates what can be accomplished through a partnership”. The Minister added that the donation of the large capacity bin would help conserve the marine resources and consequently ensure sustainable livelihoods.
Also present and witnessing the handing over was the General Manager of the Nevis Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Andrew Hendrickson and Operations Manager, Mr. Rudy Browne. Mr. Hendrickson welcomed the donated trash bin and described it as a “wonderful donation.” He said, “it would bring about significant development to the fisherfolk community. Solid Waste Management will accommodate the collection and emptying process and make sure it runs smoothly”.
Vice President Didder spoke on behalf of the New Castle fisherfolk and stated, “I am hoping we will all use it to the best of our ability to keep the marine areas clean and nice”. Joining the Vice President was Ms. Shari Greaves, Secretary of the Association.
The second large capacity trash receptacle purchased under the project is scheduled to be placed at a major landing site in St. Kitts. This process will be undertaken by DMR. The bins were painted by local artist Mr. Vaughn Ansyln. The NHCS is reminding the public and residents that this large capacity trash container must not be used for the disposal of other heavy items and commercial trash.
The broader island wide annual coastal cleanup organized by the NHCS will be held this Saturday, September 24th, 2016.