Ever enthusiastic about keeping our country tidy, the Dolphin Encounters team didn’t hesitate to take on The Bahamas Five Pieces Challenge last month.
The Five Pieces Challenge, also known as the Five Pieces A Day Challenge, is a global initiative started by A Greener Future, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with local communities to promote healthy environmental practices around the world. The Five Pieces Challenge encourages members of communities to pick up five pieces of litter in their area and record the number and type of items collected.
On Saturday, January 17, 2015, The Bahamas Five Pieces Challenge was held to serve as a reminder that keeping our nation beautiful is everyone’s responsibility. On the day, people on islands throughout The Bahamas were challenged to pick up five pieces of trash and post their findings on Facebook.
Many went above and beyond, collecting more than five pieces from public areas, including shorelines and parks. Included in this number is the Dolphin Encounters team, who collected seven pieces of litter, including part of a five-gallon bucked, a piece of foam, a Styrofoam cup, paper, a hair elastic and a cruise ship sticker on Blue Lagoon Island.
This was hardly the first clean-up initiative for Dolphin Encounters. Through its Project B.E.A.C.H. (Bahamas Education Association for Cetacean Health) program, Dolphin Encounters has long been committed to educating the public – especially younger generations – about the importance of ensuring a healthy marine environment. A large part of this education centers around the toll trash can take on aquatic life and the need to prevent litter from entering the marine environment.
Getting young Bahamians excited about preserving their environment is what the Dolphin Encounters team seeks to do through its annual Marine Education Poster Contest (MEPC), which is currently underway. This year’s competition theme is “Marine Debris is NOT For Me!”, and students at all grade levels throughout The Bahamas are invited to enter before February 27, 2015.
The Dolphin Encounters team also takes a hands-on approach each year by participating in International Coastal Cleanup. Last September, Dolphin Encounters headed down to South Beach, armed with trash bags and gloves to give the global initiative its best shot.
While programs like the Five Pieces Challenge and International Coastal Cleanup can only be applauded, Dolphin Encounters hopes that the lesson learned through such initiatives is that taking care of the environment should be an everyday practice. A healthy marine environment is everyone’s responsibility!