Over 60 children participated in the St. Maarten Regatta Beach clean-up on Kim Sha Beach last Saturday. This Beach Clean-up is organized annually by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Regatta Foundation to generate awareness about pollution of the beaches and the oceans amongst the local youth. The event combines the serious topic of environmental responsibility through a beach clean-up followed by fun sport activities.

The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation kicked off the day with a short presentation about the impact garbage has on our environment and more specifically the ocean. The children got extremely motivated by the presentation and in groups collected as much garbage as they could possible gather within the allotted time. At the end of the clean-up 838 pounds of garbage was collected by all participants. Prizes were handed out to those teams who collected the most garbage, which was team ‘2’ in the age category 6 – 12 with 64 pounds of collected garbage and team ‘Lifesavers’ in the age category 13-18 with over 200 pounds.

The beach clean-up was followed by several fun sport activities organized by LAB Sports. The kids were divided in different groups and took turns playing games and completing an obstacle course trying to set the fastest time. Prizes were awarded to those who set the best time. Team ‘The Savages’ took the first place within age category 6-12 with 2 minutes and 42 seconds. Team ‘21’ won age category 13-18 with 3 minutes and 55 seconds. Both the winners of the beach clean-up and the obstacle course took home prizes sponsored by Carrefour, Carousel, Random Wind Charters, Shipwreck Shops, Seaside Nature Park, Intertoys, the Scuba Shop, Rainforest Adventures and Trisport. After prize giving the kids enjoyed pizzas sponsored by Domino’s.

Anouk van Loon, organizer of St. Maarten Regatta Beach Clean-Up, said: “It is amazing to see how motivated children are to contribute to the environment by participating in a beach clean-up. The St. Maarten Regatta beach clean-up is an event that generates awareness and makes it fun for the kids to be part off. Besides the fact that they help the Island, the event is a way to make new friends. We are grateful for the support of the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation, Meadowlands, Fiji Water, LAB Sports and Print & Sign for making this event possible. We are already looking forward to next year’s edition!’’.

The St Maarten Regatta Beach clean-up is part of the Regatta Art Competition. Judges will review all the artwork and select winners who will be awarded for their efforts on Sunday February 3rd. This annual event makes the local youth aware of the environmental challenges the island faces through a fun beach clean up and using their creativity with recycled materials in the Art Competition. For more information contact assistant@smyc.com.