In response to the abnormal proliferation of Sargassum seaweed washing up on Barbados’ pristine beaches, the National Conservation Commission (NCC) will carry out a major clean up of the beaches along the South Coast between Long Beach and Hastings next Wednesday, September 7.
In a press conference held yesterday, Chairman of the NCC, Tyrone Lowe, announced: "Next Wednesday, our intention will be to deploy a substantial amount of our employees to designated areas, particularly the South Coast between Hastings and Long Beach. This will require taking many of our workers from various sites all across Barbados and letting them concentrate on where we consider to be, at this point, a very critical area.
"What we know is NCC has got to respond and we’ve got to do it very urgently because this seaweed…is not showing signs of letting up anytime soon. It does present a problem for sea bathers. And it does, indeed, present itself as another breeding ground for plastics and other things because once people see the beach littered with something, they add to it."
Mr. Lowe said that the clean up would be carried out during the day, and appealed to the public to be supportive of the department’s efforts. He also explained that the large deployment of NCC staff would mean that other areas may have a lack of personnel next Wednesday. Again, he asked the public to be understanding of this as he highlighted that in addition to NCC general workers, some lifeguards, rangers and office staff will be included in the clean up exercise.
Mr. Lowe lauded the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), LIME, and the various groups and individuals who have played major roles in the clean up efforts of affected beaches. He continued to extend invitations for others to get involved stating, "…If there are people who are still going to be using the beach and they want to lend us a hand, we’d be happy if they could help us clean up. And for that reason bags, gloves and so on will be provided to anyone who will want to help in the exercise."