Our beautiful oceans are excellent sources of food and natural resources for mankind. They also play a major role in maintaining the balance of our climate and weather patterns. Thus, their conservation and that of the diversity of species living within them is of utmost importance.

World Oceans Day, celebrated annually on June 8th, provides an opportunity to raise global awareness of the benefits derived from the oceans and the challenges they face, and provides a platform to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to protect and conserve our marine environment. This year’s theme “Gender and the Ocean” is an opportunity to explore the gender dimension of humankind’s relationship with the ocean.

The National Environment Days Commemoration Committee (NEDCC) partnered with several entities to execute a World Oceans Day beach cleanup on Friday June 7th, 2019.  Said entities include the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), Massy Stores SVG, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College Environmental Club, and the Sandy Bay Government School with two U.S. Peace Corp volunteers currently stationed at that school. The activity which occured at the Big Sand beach, Sandy Bay, was the most diverse in terms of collaborators and participants since the establishment of the Committee in 2018.

Fifty-six (56) volunteers participated in this year's beach cleanup, which saw a  total of Thirty-three (33) bags of garbage being removed from the beach. Aluminium tins, plastic beverage bottles, plastic bottle caps, plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic takeout food containers, broken fishing nets and ropes, were the top items collected by our Oceans Day volunteers.

Participants were sensitized about the threats facing our marine environment and were encouraged to participate in environmental improvement and protection by representatives of the NEDCC.

Apart from the Big Sand beach clean up, Serenity Dive SVG in conjunction with the NEDCC, executed a land- and underwater clean-up at the Calliaqua beach on Friday June 7th, 2019.

This latter activity was part of a nationwide initiative to observe World Oceans Day 2019 under the theme “Gender and the Ocean.”