International Coastal Cleanup

In 2018, Puerto Rico ranked 19th place in the International Coastal Cleanup. >Courtesy

Scuba Dogs Society (SDS), Puerto Rico’s official coordinator of the International Coastal Cleanup, informed on Thursday that this year the event will be held on September 21 and it is already recruiting new site captains.

The executive director of this non-profit organization, Ana Trujillo, explained that 117 captains from the 2018 cleanup already confirmed their attendance, and the process to look for more leaders begins today.

There are still 69 identified bodies of water that need new captains to lead the teams of volunteers that will clean their shores. Additionally, more shores can be registered for the cleanup.

“We plan to impact 200 beaches, rivers, streams, and other bodies of water. For this reason, we invite citizens to register as captains and join as heroes of the most successful global coastal cleanup campaign,” Trujillo, a marine biologist, stated.

Last year, Puerto Rico ranked 19th among the 100 countries that participated in the event, according to official data from Ocean Conservancy, the world coordinator of the effort that took place in Texas, United States, in 1986 and that today has more than 800,000 volunteers.

Who Can Register and How to Apply?

The SDS executive director stressed that site captains are key members.

She explained that in their individual character or representing organizations, community groups, educational institutions or others, they organize the volunteers and implement the international protocol of cleaning in the body of water assigned to them. Once they register, they must take a workshop to become certified.

A special invitation is extended to young people 14 and up, who, supported by their parents and teachers, can be captains. Up to 20 hours of the Green Contact program or community service will be certified.

The captain register will be open until august 31 on www.scubadogssociety.org.

Once the recruitment of the captains is completed, the list of coasts with captains will be published in the website to begin registering volunteers throughout Puerto Rico.

Companies can also be part of this initiative, either by creating teams and/or contributing with donations of various kinds, from money to cleaning materials, snacks, and logistics elements. Corporate representatives who wish to sponsor the event can write to administrator@scubadogssociety.org or atrujillo@scubadogssociety.org.

“There are really simple but important ways to help, such as sharing our content published on media and social networks. Help us spread the word about the importance of reducing waste generation, avoiding single-use plastics, and fostering the care of nature. We have only one planet Earth and it urgently needs our care,” Trujillo affirmed.

SDS, which joined the Ocean Conservancy effort in 2004, wishes to continue making history in 2019 by establishing new brands, despite the fact that many of its captains have emigrated.

“The people have demonstrated how capable they are to achieve what they propose themselves when facing united adversity. That is why we invite you to teach the world another lesson, demonstrating our commitment to conserve our beaches, rivers, streams, and estuaries,” Trujillo said.

Beyond cleaning, the International Coastal Cleanup also represents an opportunity to educate and document the extent of contamination in the bodies of water. Each participant collects information on the type of waste removed, the amount, composition, origin, and areas of greatest accumulation in marine and aquatic ecosystems.

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