From time to time, here at Ambergris Today, we get the occasional email from tourists who are very concerned about garbage on the island. They comment about the amount of trash, debris and litter that lies along our beautiful beach. They express how bad it looks for our island.
I don’t walk the beaches much, but I do see some trash in some areas and the town is kept pretty clean by the Town Council, except for when stray dogs get a hold of poorly covered trash bins. But this is cleaned as soon as possible.
I have to applaud the cleanup efforts of the neighborhood watch groups who work hard in keeping their areas clean with regular cleanup drives. In particular is the South End Neighborhood Watch which I see organizing regular cleanups and I have also seen the North End Neighborhood Watch send out invitations for cleanups in their areas as well. We cannot turn a blind eye on garbage along our beaches. Who like to live among filth anyway?
A few weeks back I got on a golf cart with my friends and took a long three hour ride up north almost reaching Tranquility Bay Resort, the farthest resort close to the northern border to Mexico. The ride was really nice, the roads a bit bumpy but clean. There are a few spots where people dump their garbage along the roadside on empty lots, hopefully those will be covered up soon!
Mostly plastic bottles litter the beach further up north
As we got further along, closer to Rocky Point, it was clearly evident that there is a lot of garbage lining the beach. Most of it seems to have had washed ashore as per where the garbage accumulates. Most believe that this garbage comes from up the Mexican coast and even from cruise ships that practice disposing their garbage out at sea.
So! As we enter Reef Week this week, I am happy to see that the Hol Chan Marine Reserve office initiated a cleanup campaign further up north where certainly the area is more neglected due to the lack of residents. The group did a fantastic job of getting young students to help in the cleanup. We need more initiatives like this throughout the year and not only during one week of the year. There is a lot of cleaning to do and not in just one specific area.
Our reef, lagoon, wildlife and mangroves definitely suffer the consequences of pollution. I applaud all the groups that organize cleanup campaigns on a regular basis to keep our Isla Bonita clean and healthy. Working together we can make a big difference for our health, our environment and our industry. Let’s all do our part!
Cleanup efforts by Hol Chan Marine Reserve in North Ambergris Caye, Rocky Point Area