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  • Lyndeisha Curry

Marine Debris Removal in Green Turtle Cay

Here at Friends of the Environment we are happy to announce the launch of a marine debris removal program in partnership with IDEA Relief as a part of Hurricane Dorian response and recovery efforts. The program aims to remove debris, ranging from small (e.g. electronics) to medium (e.g. appliances) and large (cars and boats), from marine environments in Abaco.

On January 6, 2021 the pilot program, funded by UNDP GEF SGP, began in Green Turtle Cay with an amazing team of local interns, divers and volunteers. We were happy to onboard this team of primarily local community members, whom displayed genuine excitement about returning their home to its former glory. Engaging locals allowed us to not only aid in recovery via debris removal but by injecting funds into the local economy. It was encouraging to see the positive response of community members to the beginning of debris removal efforts around their cay.

Makayla McIntosh, GTC resident, age 18
Donald Thompson, GTC resident, age 18

Makayla and Donald’s internship will allow them to learn about the impacts of debris to the marine environment whilst gaining valuable hands-on knowledge on disaster response, solid waste management, and safety. This internship is a part of FRIENDS’ larger sustainable livelihoods program; which aims to provide opportunities for young adults to build skills, make valuable connections, and identify future career opportunities in sustainable fields.

Interns meeting with Project Manager, Juliette Deal for orientation.

Like many of the other cays, Green Turtle is a very popular destination with locals depending on tourism to subsist. As we assessed the startling amounts of debris around Green Turtle Cay the importance of this program was reinstated. Marine debris removal around the cay will ensure navigational safety for boaters and reduce health risks for locals and visitors. Learn more about the types of marine debris and the health and safety risks associated with their presence in upcoming blogs. This is only the beginning of marine debris removal efforts around The Abacos.

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