Beach cleanups and school visits!

BIM12_WrightBeachCleanupDEIt was a great remainder of our program with Linzi from DE-Project BEACH. On Saturday we were up early for our cleanup of Radio Beach in Alice Town. Kel represented DCP Conservation Member Sarah (thanks Sarah!) and Linzi brought bags, gloves and Ocean Conservancy data cards. At first, it was a small team: we were joined by a great American family visiting Bimini. They worked together, keeping track of the litter they collected so that Linzi could submit the information to the Ocean Conservancy. Although we were so happy to have the support of Bimini’s guests – it was great to have the type of visitors who wanted to give back to the island – we couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed that no locals joined the efforts. But wait! A fantastic group of people joined us mid-morning and made up for lost time! We collected 23 bags of trash, plus several bags of recyclable bottles and cans and a pile of bulk items. The kids all received their “Beach Buddy MVP” button from Dolphin Encounters.

On Sunday, I was able to give a full tour of North Bimini to Linzi, including sharing information about Bimini’s Marine Protected Area. On Monday it was school visit day and Linzi gave fantastic presentations about endangered species, marine debris and coral reefs to all three of the public school campuses. It was great seeing the young primary students enthusiasm, hearing the 4th, 5th and 6th graders Bimini boa stories, seeing the pride in the high school students’ eyes and meeting teachers and principals who want to help make Bimini’s education system better each year. We capped off the day with a second round of beach cleanup efforts, this time at the southern point of North Bimini and along the sea plane ramp. With some repeat Beach Buddies and some new faces, we collected another half dozen bags of trash, plus recyclables and bulk items, and everyone headed home with smiles on their faces, talking of getting their friends to join next time.

It was a fantastic weekend of dolphins and community efforts. I look forward to DCP’s next visit to Dolphin Encounters – and the next Dolphin Encounters visit to Bimini!

Until next time,