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Partners continues to make Utulei Beach safe

jeff@samoanews.com
The Department of Marine Wildlife Resources (DMWR) and the American Samoa Aquatics Agency (ASAA) in a joint effort this past Tuesday were able to remove debris and trash from the water at Utulei Beach Park that included nine bags of trash with an approximate total weight of 360 pounds. [photo: Jeff Hayner]

If you were one of the groups that enjoyed a family and friends outing at Utulei Beach, yesterday, for July 4th, you should be saying thank you to the Department of Marine Wildlife Resources (DMWR) and the American Samoa Aquatics Agency (ASAA).

In a joint effort, Tuesday, July 3rd, they removed debris and trash from the waters of Utulei Beach Park, a continuation of the work they did in January this year.

Nine bags of trash with an approximate total weight of 360 pounds, 10 car tires, a large tractor tire, metal and plastic objects, clothing, fishing net, wood, soda cans and beer bottles were removed in time for the July 4th federal holiday, celebrated with family gatherings at the territory’s beaches, the most popular destination being Utulei Beach.

Earlier this year, DMWR took a survey of the island, in an attempt to locate coastal ares where there are large amounts of trash and debris to be removed.

“This is a follow-up clean-up from the one we did in January at Utulei Beach Park,” said DMWR Marine and Debris Project Coordinator Alice Lawrence. “This was a Marine Debris Project in collaboration with the ASAA. The idea was to pick up all of the debris items that are on the reef or in the sandy area around Utulei Beach. We picked up quite a lot in January,” she said.

There were divers and snorkelers from both DMWR and ASAA going into the water pulling out the trash and bringing it to shore, where it was picked up and taken to the landfill in Futiga.

“Eventually we would like all of the big items, along with smaller items, removed from the Utulei Beach area to make it a safer place for swimming, a place for everyone to enjoy,” she said. Lawrence said that DMWR is working with ten groups around the island, where each group has adopted an area to keep clean with the ASAA adopting the Utulei Beach Park area. There are plans on working with Samoana High School when the new school year starts, she added.

“We want each group to adopt an area to keep clean. It does not have to be in the water. It can be the beach area or the stream area. For each group that adopts an area, we will show them how to survey what they are picking up, where it is from and how to stop it from getting there in the future.

If any groups or individuals wish to get involved in the clean-up they can contact me at the DMWR Office at 633-4456,” she concluded.



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