WB wetlands immersed in plastic pollution

| 24/05/2021 | 30 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): Local activists are raising the alarm about pollution in the West Bay wetland area after they discovered this weekend just how much plastic is finding its way into the remaining mangroves in the Safehaven area. Plastic Free Cayman, which organised the clean-up to mark World Biodiversity Day on Sunday, were joined by volunteers from various NGOs, and between them removed over 400 pounds of debris from the wetlands. The activists said that young mangroves were immersed in plastic and microplastic, and were growing around and through the bottle caps, cutlery, Styrofoam and plastic bags that were forming plastic patches. The activists said that the roots of these important species are being bombarded by trash.

Using kayaks to get into the wetlands, the volunteers found that virtually every mangrove area had plastic floating at the base of each tree.

The event was held to highlight the importance of the mangrove wetlands, PFC said in a release. Not only do they help with storm surge, store large amounts of carbon and are the breeding grounds for many marine species, but they also filter the oceans.

The Plastic Free Cayman Team continues to push for a national clean-up campaign and plastic ban. Last year the EU took a hard stance on several single-use plastic items, the activists noted. They called on the Cayman Islands Government to introduce a ban on items like plastic cutlery, straws and plates, plastic bags, cotton buds and polystyrene cups and urged the CIG to enforce the law on the protection of the species.

“It is essential that the National Conservation Law regarding mangrove protection is enforced. Our excessive pollution, over-consumption and over-development continue to destroy our biodiversity,” PFC said.

Dinara Panera, from the Mangrove Rangers, one of the groups joining the volunteers, said, “It was great to see people turn up for this clean-up, but disappointing to see trash like cigarettes, diapers and bottles at the base of the mangroves. Cayman’s mangrove wetlands are amazing but it’s important to clean up after ourselves in order to protect the animal species that live in these habitats.”

Lilly Langevin, from Protect Our Future, said that after seeing the pollution and knowing how much of the wetlands have been lost, it is more crucial than ever to protect the mangroves.

Jordan Charles, the Ambassadors of the Environment coordinator, said the true solution lies with reduction or elimination of the waste before it enters our water systems, but the clean-ups are an effective way to open people’s eyes and encourage them to make changes.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Forget acid rain. Plastic rain is now falling across the U.S.

    You can stop buying anything plastic. Only then things might change…but of course plastic bottles, straws, disposable containers are so convenient …and why should we care about future generations…

  2. Anonymous says:

    In the next hundred years there are going to be AI controlled robots that take the scrap out of the water but in the meantime you and I are going to have to do the hard yards to pick up after the litter bugs, and the oceans are unfortunately going to be a bit dirtier

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not that there isn’t a lot of new plastics as well, but a lot of the debris on uncleared land was out there during hurricane Ivan. I saw a piece of land that got cleared and the amount of debris I could see on the adjoining properties. I took a closer look at it and I could tell it was Ivan debris because of the amount of household goods. But there was tons of various plastic products. Unfortunately, I don’t ever see Grand Cayman’s bush and swamps ever getting cleaned (unless, of course, a property gets developed. Previous hurricanes didn’t cause these problems because there were far fewer people living here and far less stuff in people’s homes to wash away in storm surge.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to all those who volunteered and PFC for organising. IME from Barkers almost all identifiable plastics are from Haiti.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been on quite a few Caribbean islands, this is not just a Cayman thing, more of an island thing. I have seen it on every island I’ve been on, you need that Indian on the TV commercial with the tear drop in his eye, maybe that will waken some up.

  6. Tim Ridley says:

    This problem has been around sadly for years. I recall many years ago anchored while boating off Seven Mile Beach. In a nearby boat, a young expat with Cayman status (whom I knew), happily threw an empty Heineken bottle over the side of his family boat. I called to him not to do this as it was a disgusting littering habit. He shouted back that he had Cayman status and could do what he liked.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Tim, the term you were searching for was “Caymanian”
      In this context, an absolute asshole for littering, but a Caymanian nonetheless.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have never seen Cayman as dirty as it is right now. The place needs a good clean up, especially certain areas, right in town. People often have no shame and throw all kinds of garbage around. I can’t imagine tourists see this mess.

  8. Dan says:

    The Caribbean is a disgrace, no nationwide recycling, people tossing garbage out of windows, etc.

    Credit is only given to these generous volunteers, the government should be ashamed

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s why we pay junk to collect our recycling every week. It’s not that much money a d if you live in a condo complex it’s even less.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The majority coming from international waters and simply following the winds and currents, What to do…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Had an argument at sandbar when I kindly asked a young Caymanian woman not to throw her cig butts in the water. She won by showing dominance when she threw her next cigarette butt in the water.
    Hey. It is your own natural resource. You really should protect it instead of waiting on the driftwood to do it for you.


    • Anonymous says:

      I bet you only decided to argue with her because of your own self hate for smokers, why don’t you go to dart and argue with him about all the plastic and styrofoam that he makes and became so rich from, I bet not one cigarette butt could be found in those mangroves,or if you really want to be a true planetere why don’t you go to rum point and stop all those drunk customers from throwing their garbage into the ocean.
      Lucky for you it wasn’t me you approached because I would have probably messed your vacation up, driftwood.

      • Anonymous says:

        Trying to imagine the type of person who would fight someone for being asked not to litter.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not hard really.

          That type is to be found everywhere.

          Sad… but you also found one here @ 2:42pm…

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow 2:42, just wow, – you must be a whole bunch of fun to endure a quarantine with 🙄

      • Anonymous says:

        FIGHT!!!!!!! I’ll hold the jackets.

      • Anonymous says:

        lol, I love when people type threats on the internet, its the easiest indication they are a basement dwelling, scrawny wuss.

        this is the Cayman version of that Navy seal copy/pasta.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s all coming in from other eastern Caribbean islands that just toss their garbage in the ocean. You all should see the garbage plastic this and that coming in at South Side, Cayman Brac and beaches of Little Cayman. The eastern Caribbean islands have got to get a grip. When tourists land there for day trips, the sides of their roads and everywhere have tossed out trash. Shame on anyone that is not disposing of trash properly when trash bins are placed everywhere. This generation is angry and just want to act out by making messes. It is just this entitled new attitude out there. This is not the Caymanian way to trash up the place!!!
    We are all out here picking up around us and doing our best to pick up and clean up our beaches and other trashed areas.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is terrible in the Brac, I have seen it too. Mostly from DR & Haiti from what is on the bottles etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Blaming Jamaica for all our problems really isn’t gonna get us anywhere. Do we blame another country for the dump? As Caymanians we always love to blame someone else for our issues. Yes Jamaica has its issues, but playing the blame game won’t solve anything.

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