The Bitter End Yacht Club (BEYC) is aiming to erase all traces of the 2017 disaster in the territory as it moves to the Prickly Pear National Park on Friday for a land and sea cleanup.
Manager at BEYC’s Sunchaser Scuba, Ben Williams told BVI News the national park is one of a number of islands which still has glaring signs of the hurricanes that smashed into the territory more than eight months ago.
He said it is critical to get every aspect of the territory cleaned to its pre-hurricane state. The cleanup will also coincide with World Oceans Day – a day focused on raising the awareness of the importance of the oceans. World Oceans Day will be observed globally on June 8.
“The oceans are so important for us as a society and for the BVI since tourism makes up so much of our economy here. So, to keep the ocean clean is absolutely vital to our economic growth and to keep the planet clean as well,” he said.
According to Williams, the view of Prickly Pear island from Virgin Gorda is not pleasant; particularly on the southeastern side.
“There is a lot of debris from the other islands because the winds were so strong,” he said.
“We will be concentrating on the other side close to Saba Rock where all the debris came from because, when the tourist does start coming back, the last thing we want is for the tourist to see the remnants of Hurricane Irma. We want them to kind of forget that and move on from the hurricanes so we want to clean up all of that debris,” Williams said.
Additionally, Williams said the Prickly Pear is one of the favourite stops for the tourists.
“There are some moorings in front of Sand Box [Restaurant and beach bar], so we do see a lot of tourists using the beach for swimming”.
“They (tourists) use it as a nice overnight stop. They anchor their boats and do barbeques in the evening off their boat,” he said.
Williams said persons interested in joining in the cleanup campaign will be picked up from Gun Creek at 8:45am. Refreshments and a ‘rum punch’ will follow, he said.
The debris collected will be taken from the island and brought to the incinerator at Bitter End, Virgin Gorda.
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