Session II Tackles Beach Trash!
Students show off the fruits of their labor- 13 bags of plastic litter cleared from the shores of Lagun!
By John DeBuysser, Summer Program Leader
This past Saturday we took a trip over to Lagun, a funnel-shaped inlet on the eastern side of Bonaire. This inlet is known to collect large amounts of trash due to its exposure to the prevailing northwestward Caribbean current. And we saw that quite easily upon reaching the site, with large amounts of plastic waste littering the shore. Plastic pollution is a serious concern for ocean and intertidal habitats. Sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and sea birds mistake plastic shards for fish, in both cases the result being gut impaction and slow starvation. Ropes and soda can holders can entangle and strangle marine life, and as plastic degrades it breaks apart into micro plastics and toxins that have been shown to readily enter the food chain and accumulate in the fish and shellfish typically consumed by humans. As such, we were excited to get straight to work to help clean up this beach. 13 bags of trash later, we felt proud knowing we had made a difference and excited to keep the efforts going into the future!
The view from the beach of Lagun. There is trouble in paradise!
It was a sad wake-up call to see Lagun like this, but the students worked to make a positive difference.