The official organization in Puerto Rico in charge of cleaning the coasts, Scuba Dogs Society announced this morning its plan for this year’s event, without leaving aside the coronavirus pandemic.
In a press conference from the Plaza del Caribe shopping center in Ponce, they expressed their readiness to carry out the coastal cleaning in October, which this year reaches its 18th edition.
“Scuba Dog Sociaety has led shoreline cleanup for the past 18 years. We want this year to be no different, despite the challenges we are facing ”, commented the vice president of the organization’s Board of Directors, Juan José Terraza.
Due to the public health emergency caused by Covid-19, this year for the 2020 International Coastal Cleanup a “reengineering” of the work protocol was carried out, to guarantee the health and safety of the participants.
The Global Shoreline Cleanup Coordinator, Ocean Conservancy has extended the deadline for all countries to host the shoreline cleanup event until December 2020.
Therefore, instead of cleaning in one day, controlled cleaning will be done the first four Saturdays in October with a maximum of 100 bodies of water, 30 people per coast and organized in groups of five people or less, -preferably families -.
As detailed, this plan has already been approved by the government sectarian, Antonio Pabón and the secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Rafael Machargo Maldonado. Also, the participating municipalities, volunteers, captains and sponsors were consulted.
“The International Coastal Cleanup is a very significant event as it is a way to raise awareness and educate citizens about the importance of keeping our coasts and bodies of water clean. We urge everyone to leave the area clean when they visit the beaches, taking into consideration that the beaches are for the enjoyment of all and that it is the habitat of hundreds of species, ”said Machargo Maldonado.
The registration -which is compulsory- to participate this year in the 2020 International Coastal Cleanup will be from next Thursday through the website www.scubadogssociety.org
“To avoid contact between participants, this year the Ocean Conservancy’s Clean Swell mobile app will be used, which replaces the use of printed data cards,” explained Scuba Dog Society Executive Director Ana Trujillo.
Puerto Rico among the top 20 countries
On the other hand, Trujillo reported that the Ocean Conservancy positioned Puerto Rico in the 13th position among the 116 countries where the event was held.
The Ocean Conservancy’s report “Together, We Are TEAM OCEAN” establishes that, in 2019, Puerto Rico managed to remove 477,372 items that totaled 102,160 pounds of waste along 182.7 miles of coastline.
From this, it stands out that eight of the ten types of classified waste are plastic.
“We got the participation of 12,031 local volunteers. That says a lot about our commitment as a people, “added Trujillo.
About Scuba Dogs Society (SDS): it is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that has been dedicated to environmental protection in Puerto Rico since 1993, when it was known as the Enrique Martí Coll Foundation. In 2007, its current name was introduced. It has been punctual to achieve changes in social behavior regarding the protection of resources through projects such as the International Coastal Cleanup. Through action, educate and engage the community to conserve clean and healthy natural resources.