Friday 15 November, 2019

NICE Sargassum Clean Up Crew Protects The Beach Ecosystem

The National Community Enhancement Project (NiCE) team has been exploring environmentally sound methods of removing sargassum from the nation's beaches. 

On August 5 to 16, a small crew of six persons worked in tandem with a selection of beach cleaning equipment to remove influxes of the seaweed, using equipment such as a skid steer, back hoe and beach tech marina, on several beaches across Grand Cayman. 

Some of the areas cleaned included the coastline at South Sound Boat Launch Ramp and Board walk areas, Frank Sound Boat Launch Ramp, Coe Wood Beach in Bodden Town, Cayman Kai Public Beach, North Side and Colliers Beach in East End. 

In instances where it was difficult to separate the seaweed from the sand, the sargassum was taken to a government location to be dried, sieved and the sand transported back to the beaches by the Recreation, Parks and Cemeteries Unit. 

Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Hon. Joey Hew commended the crew members, Project Manager Lois Kellyman and the National Roads Authority for the excellent work completed within the short timeframe.

“Cleaning the sargassum manually is not sustainable. This approach worked well with the combination of manual labour and machinery. We have received positive feedback from members of the communities who noted the stark difference they have seen in the clean-up of our beaches,” he stated. 

The Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure is leading a multi-agency task force that has been set up to review the sargassum issue and map a way forward.

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