In just a few days, a celebration and appreciation of the ocean surrounding our beautiful island begins. And, if you love St. John, the sea is probably something you’re a pretty big fan of as well, right? Well, over the next week, the businesses and community members of Love City will be doing some work to take care of and give back to our beautiful surroundings.
You see, those of us who live here obviously LOVE the ocean as well. And it likely drew us here as well! But it is so much more to us here who depend on the sea for more than just her beauty. For many of us it is also our source of income. Our draw for tourism. And, most importantly, our source of utmost enjoyment and peace of mind during the busiest days. It’s probably also very likely it is the reason that you all visit us! And in order to keep that beauty growing through the ages, it is all of our duties to take care of the sea as she takes care of us every single day of the year. So, if you are visiting over the next week, or looking for a way to participate in some love for Mother Ocean from home, take a peek at some ways to join in the fun!
The festivities are kicking off a bit early in Coral Bay this weekend with a cleanup of the shorelines surrounding St. John’s easternmost town. This Saturday, join the Coral Bay Yacht Club, Kids and the Sea and the Coral Bay Community Council at the dinghy dock near Skinny Legs at 8AM for a trash removal party with great rewards! Not only will you have the satisfaction of putting in the hard work for a more beautified Coral Bay, but there is free breakfast AND Lime Out tokens for all participants. Trash bags will be provided by the organizers, but volunteers should bring their own gloves and sun protection. Breakfast will be provided by Coral Bay Catering and each participating cleaner upper will receive a $25 token to spend at everyone’s favorite floating taco bar – Lime Out! Anyone wishing to participate should contact Leah at the number or email below to register in advance so that Coral Bay Catering knows how folks will be enjoying some DELICIOUS breakfast afterwards!
A second group shoreline cleanup, coordinated by Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, will occur on Saturday, October 22 at Drunk Bay Beach. Folks interested in participating in this cleanup should be at the Salt Pond parking lot at 9AM next weekend where gloves and bags will be provided by the Friends.
Volunteers should bring their own Reef Safe sunscreen, sturdy shoes and other sun protection. I might also advise bringing along some bug spray for any of the clean ups you choose to be a part of. With all of the glorious rain we have been receiving, the buggers have been pretty obnoxious. I enjoy the Skin so Soft Bug Guard Wipes, but the original SSS works great as well. They’re much easier on your skin, and on the environment, than Deet based sprays!
A multitude of local businesses and community members are also pitching in to do their part next week by sponsoring a specific beach for a cleanup!
- Salomon – St. John Brewers
- Hawksnest – Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
- Jumbie – St. John Rotary
- Trunk Bay – Gifft Hill School
- Cinnamon Bay – Get Trashed St. John
- Maho Bay – Maho Crossroads
- Princess Bay – Virgin Islands Expedition Co
- Haulover(N) – St. John Land Conservancy
- Haulover(S)/Dreekets Bay – Reef2Peak
- Salt Pond/Drunk Bay – Friends of VINP
- Klein Bay – Holiday Homes
- Hart Bay – Chocolate Hole Landowners Ass.
- Frank Bay – Coconut Coast Studios
- Privateer Bay – Island Green Living
- Denis Bay – Cyndi Good
- Calabash Beach –Coral Bay Community Council
- Kiddel Bay – Kelly and Jason Larkin
- Whistling Cay – Maya Pierce
But there are more beaches to be adopted and in need of some helping hands! The following beaches are awaiting a friend to clean them up next week:
- Cruz Bay
- Francis Bay
- Honeymoon Beach
- Scott Beach
- Henley Bay Beach
- Leinster Bay
- Brown Bay
- Great Lameshur Bay
- Little Lameshur
- Reef Bay
- Great Cruz Bay
- Europa Bay
- Friis Bay
- Leduck Island
- Durloe Cays
- Stevens Cay
- Grootpan Bay
To sponsor a beach for cleanup, this week or at any time in the future, contact Jennifer Stone at Friends VINP for more information. The Friends will provide trash bags and gloves for anyone wishing to clean up a beach at any point in time!
The Friends VINP Ocean Week cleanup is inspired by International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) to be the change and SEA the change. So, yes, that means that no matter where you are, you can join forces with us to help beautify and protect the ocean.
For more than 35 years, 17 million volunteers have joined the International Coastal Cleanup to collect more than 350 million pounds of plastic and debris, all the while recording what they find and helping inform research and legislation across the world. Join on September 17 and beyond to clean up your local beach, stream, park, or neighborhood. No matter where you are, you can help ocean creatures enjoy a trash free home. When we clean up our home, all those that live in the ocean can #SeatheChange.
On the ICC website, you will find an interactive map that will assist you in finding a cleanup near you. If you are not close to a shoreline, don’t forget about the rivers that feed into our sea! In addition to a multitude of shoreline cleanups on both the east and the west coast, a few river cleanups have been coordinated in order to stop trash in its tracks 🙂 If you don’t see a cleanup near you, coordinate one of your own and sign up your team with ICC!
And the absolute most important thing we can ALL do whenever we visit a shoreline is to take care of our own trash and pack it out with us. Trash comes from everywhere and the items picked up on the beaches of St. John over the next week could have drifted in from thousands of miles away. So, let’s all pitch in next week (and always!) to do our part to take care of the oceans that bring us so much joy, happiness and tranquility.