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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Tropical Beach, Naguabo, Puerto Rico

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Tropical Beach, Naguabo, Puerto Rico
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Registered: February 2007
Posts: 1
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This environmental cleanup project was completed as part of the Apprentice Ecologist™ Initiative! This group was also part of the Interact Club Caribe.

The following Nicodemus Wilderness Project volunteers conducted this cleanup project in April 2006: Christian (age 16), Michael (age 13), Jose (age 16), Ysatis (age 13), Gabriela (age 16), and Damaris Delgado (age 43) [Interact Advisor].

The following essay was authored by Gabriela.

The Caribbean Interact Club, which is sponsored by the Rotary Club of el Cuidad del Turabo, cleaned up Tropical Beach in Naguabo, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a small island in the Caribbean. Naguabo is a small coastal town of about thirty thousand people on the East Coast of Puerto Rico. Tropical Beach was rather crowded because it was a Saturday and in Puerto Rico people visit the beach a lot on weekends. This beach is surrounded by seafood restaurants and bars. The area is sunny and naturally beautiful and has many palm trees as well as some small crabs. It is a shame that the area is dirty with trash.

There was a large amount of litter throughout the beach. Most of the garbage was the result of people eating and drinking while at the beach. Although there were scattered garbage cans in the beach area they were not enough to collect the large amount of garbage produced by the visitors to the area. Among the garbage picked up there were plastic forks, knives and spoons, gum wrappers, beer bottles, aluminum cans, batteries, cigarette butts, plastic containers, napkins, food remnants etc. The food remnants generated another problem, lots of stray dogs walking around eating the left over food. Regretfully there were other items of garbage we were not able to pick up, such as tires and car batteries because of the special restrictions on the disposal of these items in Puerto Rico. We filled up four trash bags as a result of our cleanup.

The cleanup had a good impact in that people who saw us cleaning the beach put their garbage in our trash bags or went to trash cans to deposit their garbage. It definitely raised awareness among the visitors that they had to become part of the solution and not part of the problem. As a group we felt empowered by organizing the cleanup. We discovered that it is possible to change certain things that we don’t like about the world. However, one cleanup will not end the garbage problem. One needs to educate people on the negative effects of littering. You also need to provide an adequate number of trash cans. But most importantly you need to make people feel proud of their beaches. I think it is important to cleanup Tropical Beach because it is a public area used by many people and since places of natural beauty should not be marred by trash and garbage.

The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative is a great idea because it gives people ideas on how to organize a cleanup. It recognizes the future by giving kids/teens’ projects attention. Not only does it put the kids/teens’ photos on the Internet with a description of the cleanup, it also gives you a certificate to proudly display. If young people don’t care about the environment, then the environment has no future. It also inspires you by showing how people across the world are doing cleanups, letting you know that you are not alone.
Date: March 16, 2007 Views: 11705 File size: 23.1kb, 270.6kb : 1500 x 1160
Hours Volunteered: 30
Volunteers: 6
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 13 to 43
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 2
Trash Removed/Recycled from Environment (kg): 75
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