|Sargassum deposits on the south coast of the island (FP)|
As large quantities of Sargassum seaweed continue to wash up along the shoreline of many of this country’s beaches, a top coastal official has called on Barbadians "from all walks of life" to participate in the first of a series of clean up campaigns scheduled to take place at Barclays Park, East Coast Road, this Saturday, August 27, starting at 6:00 a.m.
Deputy Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), Dr. Lorna Inniss disclosed that the CZMU and the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) will be spearheading Saturday’s clean up exercise, and they are appealing to Barbadians to assist in the effort.
"Right now, we are asking everyone from community groups, District Emergency Organisations, parliamentarians, coastal residents, entertainers, nature lovers and anyone who cares for our environment to come out on Saturday morning. This is a national effort of the upmost importance," she emphasised.
While urging individuals to wear the appropriate attire and footwear, the Deputy Director also advised that persons should walk with a pair of latex gloves, fan rake, face masks hand sanitiser.
She further added that while scientists are currently working to determine the cause of the phenomenon which is affecting many other Caribbean islands as well, Barbadians were being encouraged to experiment by using the Sargassum seaweed on plants, crops, even Giant African Snails and slugs.
"From our reports, persons have been using the seaweed in this regard and I would even encourage Bajans to use it as fertiliser.?? Just make sure the salt water is rinsed out properly.??
I also want to stress that while we are promoting that Barbadians utilise the seaweed for personal use, we would like people to desist from driving their vehicles onto the beach," Ms. Inniss underscored.
The Deputy Director also stressed that the seaweed was not harmful, and added that if persons were willing to go during the week to aid in the cleanup they were welcomed to do so.
"We need all hands on deck.?? However, we do not expect to clean every piece of seaweed off the beach as this is a living organism that functions within the ecosystem," she explained.
Areas that have already been identified include the Crane, River Bay, Dover Beach, Skeete’s Bay and Barclay’s Park.