Wi Beach Blog

Shelly says Big Up Wi Beach!

Big Up Wi Beach has released its first public service announcement (PSA) on the importance of maintaining healthy beaches. In the PSA, Shelly, a hawksbill sea turtle explains how to keep beaches healthy by protecting different parts of the coastal environment – sand dunes, mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass beds – and the plants and animals which depend on them. 

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International Coastal Cleanup Day 2019 National Summary Report - Plastic bottles top the list!

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) is expressing disappointment over last week’s announcement by Minister Daryl Vaz that the roll out of the planned deposit refund scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles is being delayed until 2021. Minister Vaz’s announcement came ahead of JET’s release of the results of last year’s International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day Jamaica activities, which identify plastic beverage bottles as the number one item collected by ICC volunteers for the twelfth consecutive year.

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Big Up Wi Beach Road Trip Part 2

We’ve been on the road since October visiting the Big Up Wi Beach network of Jamaican community managed beaches. On the first leg of our road trip, we caught up with three beach network partners from phase I of Jamaica Environment Trust’s (JET’s) Better Beaches for Jamaicans (BBFJ) project. In November we visited four of the five community managed beaches added to the Big Up Wi Beach network in 2019 – Wickie Wackie in St Andrew, Belmont Beach in Westmoreland, Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth and Rio Nuevo in St Mary.

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Big Up Wi Beach Road Trip Part 1

Over the past few months the team has been on the road catching up with our Big Up Wi Beach community beach partners. The Big Up Wi Beach Network of community managed beaches was established by the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) under phase I of the Better Beaches for Jamaicans Project. Since 2016 JET has been working closely with community groups managing their local beaches to improve beach stewardship. Winnifred Beach in Portland, Duncans Bay Beach in Trelawny and Alligator Pond in Manchester joined the network in 2017 and five other beaches have been added under BBFJ Phase II this year (stay tuned to hear more about them in our next blog - Big Up Wi Beach Road Trip Part 2)

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Heading to the beach for Heroes’ weekend?

 

As with other public holidays in Jamaica, many take the opportunity of Heroes’ Day to head to the beach - after all, it’s a Jamaican tradition. While we unwind, kick back or party it up during this period, we must ensure that Jamaica’s beaches are kept healthy and can be enjoyed year after year. Here are four things to remember this Heroes’ Weekend when you go to the beach.

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Big Up Wi Beach Cleanup!

On Saturday September 21st, 2019 the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) hosted its 26th annual beach cleanup to mark International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICC). Over 2,000 Jamaican volunteers including representatives of Corporate Jamaica, government agencies, service clubs, schools and other groups turned out to clean up the coast of the Palisadoes Go-Kart Track at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Volunteers at the cleanup found everything from plastic bottles and Styrofoam containers to refrigerators and car parts. Over 21,000 pounds of garbage was collected.

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Surveying Jamaican Beaches

Contributed by Ashley Codner

When I began working at the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) in September 2018, the Better Beaches for Jamaicans (BBFJ) project was already well underway. As one of two new JET Project Coordinators I was asked which projects I was interested in taking the lead on. I jumped at the beach project, because I have a marine biology background and I love going to beach to enjoy the tranquillity it brings.

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Leave only footprints! A Jamaican guide for a low waste beach picnic

 Contributed by Sherianne Hart 

It’s the weekend and a beautiful, sunny day; the perfect weather for going to the beach! If you’re a real beach lover, like most Jamaicans, then keeping them clean should be important to you. Reducing the amount of garbage you generate at the beach will help to guarantee many more beautiful beach days for years to come. 

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Towards Better Beach Management for Jamaican Communities

In 2017, Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) developed a simple guidebook for Jamaican beach communities - Big Up Wi Beach - An Introduction to Better Beach Management for Jamaican Communities. The guidebook features a colourful, reader-friendly, overview of the beach environment and good beach stewardship, including beach features, beach conservation, the impacts of climate change, and the laws and regulations that govern beaches in Jamaica.

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A (very brief) summary of beach access, policy and conservation issues in Jamaica

According to NEPA, in 2017 Jamaica had 86 public bathing beaches, designated under law for the use and enjoyment of the Jamaican people. These beaches are (or should be) governed by beach licenses, issued under the Beach Control Act of 1956. There are also several beaches which are regarded as “publicly accessible” but have not been officially designated as public beaches by the Government of Jamaica.

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