Residents across Barbados are being encouraged to come out in their numbers on Saturday, June 24, to assist with a National Sargassum Cleanup from 6:00 a.m.
Spearheaded by the National Conservation Commission (NCC), the cleanup will target beaches at Silver Sands, Long Beach and Hastings Rocks, Christ Church; Bathsheba, St. Joseph; Bath Beach, St. John; and the stretch from Hilton Barbados Resort to Drill Hall, and from Savannah Hotel to the Coconut Court Hotel.
In addition, Special Projects Officer at the NCC, Ricardo Marshall, encouraged groups interested in assisting with cleaning areas not listed, to contact the NCC at 425-1200, to make arrangements for the collection of the seaweed.
He noted that the Commission had already mobilised staff and equipment to facilitate the manual and mechanical removal of the seaweed. However, he emphasised the task was one that again required the assistance of the general public and members of service clubs, schools and other organised groups to mitigate the situation.
The Special Projects Officer noted that the NCC’s staff would be on hand to supervise the exercise at the various beaches, and would provide rakes and gloves to those participating.
The NCC is also appealing to corporate Barbados for assistance through the provision of trucks, skips and manpower to assist with the collection and removal of the seaweed from the various locations and others heavily impacted, such as River Bay, St. Lucy and Skeetes Bay, St. Philip.
However, Mr. Marshall reminded members of the public that mechanical equipment was not permitted on beaches without the requisite permission from the NCC.
Sargassum is a seaweed which grows to several metres and floats in the ocean in island-like masses. It smells as it decomposes, but poses no threat to humans.
However, sea bathers are advised against bathing in areas where the sargassum seaweed is stagnant and has started to decompose.