Reporting for Duty at Fort Rocky: Military Precision on International Coastal Cleanup Day


I suppose I had garbage on my mind this morning. But as the bus made its way down Mountain View Avenue some time before seven, I noticed how tidy and clean the sidewalks were; and even the patches of waste ground where houses had once been. There was very little garbage of any kind to decorate the urban blight of ruined walls and vine-covered ditches. It was especially neat in the Jacques Road area. The community has been making an effort, I am quite sure. It cheered me.

The morning was warm and calm. As we drove along the Palisadoes road towards the airport, the water of Kingston Harbour was a silvery mirror. Only an occasional patch of ripples, where small fish played, disturbed the surface. Brown Pelicans and seagulls sat on rotting posts and rusting buoys. The sky was the palest blue; except lower on the horizon, where a long brown smudge obscured the hills to the west and stretched across the city. I suspect the dump must be smoking, again.

But we, the Jamaican volunteers of International Coastal Cleanup Day were marshaling our attack. We, in our turquoise T shirts with 60s-style lettering – brilliantly psychedelic – were in the vanguard. When we arrived at Fort Rocky Beach along the Port Royal Road, it was still fairly quiet. But as the morning advanced, a veritable army of volunteers descended. Operations went smoothly and efficiently. The beach was conquered before midday.

Congratulations to the organizers, Jamaica Environment Trust and the fabulous sponsors, the Tourism Enhancement Fund and Recycle Now. And to the 2,500 people who volunteered at this one location.

Below are a few photographs of the Cleanup Day. I hope you were able to do something in your neighborhood, too. On our island of Jamaica, there were 114 locations, some of them underwater!

Taking a breather by the sea… The air was deliciously cool, and the water unusually calm.
Taking a breather by the sea… The air was deliciously cool, and the water unusually calm. This side is the open sea and the waves are often quite rough.
Oroyo Eubanks (in red cap) flashed me one of his trademark smiles, while his colleague O. Rodger Hutchinson (left) was thinking about it. They were there with colleagues from the Jamaica Information Service.
Oroyo Eubanks (in red cap) flashed me one of his trademark smiles, while his colleague O. Rodger Hutchinson (left) was thinking about it. They were there with colleagues from the Jamaica Information Service.
The energetic Naomi Redway was there, with a large team from the JN Foundation's Resolution Project. Note camera!
The energetic Naomi Redway was there, with a large team from the JN Foundation’s Resolution Project. Naomi is a recent graduate of Phase Three Productions’ summer videography workshop. Note camera!
The University of the West Indies crowd. And yes, it was a large crowd!
The University of the West Indies crowd. And yes, it was a large crowd!
The jelly coconut man was much in demand as the day grew hotter.
The jelly coconut man was much in demand as the day grew hotter.
The charming team from ECC) Magazine. Get your copy today!
The charming team from ECCO Magazine. Get your copy today!
Truly hands on: Business Development Manager at Recycle Now/Recycling Partners Ann Marie Rodriques (right) with a colleague.
Truly hands on: Business Development Manager at Recycle Now/Recycling Partners Ann Marie Rodriques (right) with a colleague.
This roving reporter from Power 106 FM interviewed many people...
This roving reporter from Power 106 FM interviewed many people…
The volunteers foraged way down the beach, and even along the Port Royal road. The hill in the background is Naggo Head in St. Catherine, on the other side of Kingston Harbour.
The volunteers foraged way down the beach, and even along the Port Royal road. The hill in the background is Naggo Head in St. Catherine, on the other side of Kingston Harbour.
A section of the Other Waste Mountain - which also grew after I took this photo.
A section of the Other Waste Mountain – which also grew after I took this photo.
A section of the plastic bottle mountain - and it grew larger.
A section of the Plastic Bottle Mountain – and it grew larger.

 

 


6 thoughts on “Reporting for Duty at Fort Rocky: Military Precision on International Coastal Cleanup Day

    1. Yes, it is worldwide and I think many countries participate now. The main issue is the year-round focus on keeping our environment clean and raising public awareness on this.

      Like

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