PRESS Release: June 27, 2017
“No Straw, Please” Campaign
This is the number of plastic straws the US uses every single day.
Quick arithmetic will tell you that is roughly 180 billion straws a year. While they are small and perhaps thought of as harmless, 180 billion of anything made out of plastic has the potential to be extremely harmful to any environment.
Plastic straws are now a major source of plastic pollution in the Virgin Islands, because they are a single use plastic item put into most restaurant drinks served in the Virgin Islands.
And all those straws, add up.
Recognizing this, several volunteer groups on St. John have made removing them from restaurants a top priority. The Coral Bay Community Council, Get Trashed-St. John, and Plastic Free Island: St John have united to create the “No Straw, Please” Social Media Campaign and Competition. The three organizations have been coordinating their efforts with Plastic Pollution Coalition which is responsible for the nationwide “The Last Plastic Straw” campaign.
The campaign kick-off is a “no plastic straw” humorous video posted on the Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC) Facebook page. The video begins the campaign and announces a video making competition where anyone in the VI can create a 30-60 second video about plastic straws and their impact and win a great prize! The application and rules are posted on the CBCC’s website (http://coralbaycommunitycouncil.org/solid-waste-2/no-straw-please-video-competition/), among other places. The video can be fun, humorous, informational, documentary, dramatic, or even cartoonish. The deadline for submission is July 23rd. The videos will be compiled by CBCC and Plastic Free Island: St. John and shown publicly at the end of July. A team of judges will choose the winner and runner up, prizes include 2-night mini vacations at Gallows Point Resort and Concordia Eco Resort, including dinners at The Westin, Extra Virgin Bistro, The Thirsty Donkey, and Skinny Legs, and breakfasts at The Triple B and Cruz Bay Landing.
“We really want to thank these members of the business community on St. John for donating these prize packages in an effort to bring attention to the amount of environmental damage the single use plastics can cause, and the result is two individuals or groups are going to walk away with a glorious weekend getaway on St. John” said Scott Eanes, from the Coral Bay Community Council, and the organizer of the “No Straw, Please” video competition.
“By drawing attention to the use of plastic straws, and the reality that they are not necessary for enjoying your beverages, it is intended to help all of us consider ways to reduce single use items – and the resulting waste and litter. Restaurants and individuals can do their part. Better decisions for the environment will be made, especially when it comes to protecting the beauty of the Virgin Islands.”
To learn more about the competition or to submit a video, contact Scott Eanes at the Coral Bay Community Council at 340-776-2099 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also become a volunteer in this effort with CBCC, Get Trashed-St. John, or Plastic Free Island: St. John, the cosponsors of this competition.
PRESS Release: May 26, 2017
Have you been meaning to try Backyard Composting? To become a good environmental steward and get potting soil for your plants? Here is your chance to learn how:
The Coral Bay Community Council (CBCC) is holding a composting seminar on Thursday June 1, 2017 at 6pm at Indigo Grill in Coral Bay. Dr. Dave Minner of Gifft Hill School/Iowa State University (ISU), and his EARTH program interns from ISU will lead an hour-long tutorial on how to compost, the nuances of composting (you don’t want too much or too little nitrogen, and same for carbon), and the environmental benefits as it relates to Coral Bay and the Virgin Islands. Bring your questions.
Scott Eanes, CBCC’s Environmental Programs Associate, who is leading this CBCC project will also be on hand to offer advice and future assistance.
The goal of this composting seminar is to assist the residents to utilize their vegetable and fruit waste, in combination with some yard waste, and turn it into a soil additive that is really good for your garden. This activity is hosted under a Solid Waste Management grant from the US Department of Agriculture. For further information, contact Scott Eanes at the CBCC office (across from Skinny’s) or at 340-776-2099. Please also contact him if you want on-site help to set up your simple composting system and check out CBCC’s website for more information: www.coralbaycommunitycouncil.org.
According to Scott Eanes, CBCC’s Environmental Programs Associate, who is leading this project:
Composting at home is the easiest, most efficient way to dispose of our fruit and vegetable scraps, and yard waste. We don’t add to the cost and amount of household waste disposal at bin sites; we reduce “smelly trash” and get a great soil additive for our houseplants and gardens. This helps our environment and our landfills, and the best thing about it:
It’s easy. Anyone can do it. All you need is a small location outside your home, and a frame made from a few wood pallets (free just about everywhere) to a fancy hand-churning recycled plastic barrel.
So what is composting and what does it create?
Composting is the physical act of creating humus (rich black nutrient-rich soil) by collecting organic waste and letting it decompose naturally. Humus is a dark material that can be added to your soil to make it more nutritious to your plants (hint: they like the nitrogen).
Why would you want to compost?
Over 30% of all our waste is comprised of organic material that doesn’t have to enter our waste stream or our landfills. In addition to food and vegetable and garden scraps you can also add shredded paper and cardboard.
What does composting NOT create?
Methane gas– which is the “stinky” gas created in landfills. Methane is a dangerous greenhouse gas that is 47 times greater at trapping heat in our atmosphere than CO2.
So, to summarize, you can turn your vegetable and fruit waste, in combination with some yard waste into something good for your garden, the soil, and good for our environment in the Virgin Islands.
For further information, contact Scott Eanes at 340-776-2099.
PRESS Release: March 20, 2017
We are pleased to announced CBCC has received two new grants totaling over $140,000 to continue progress on reducing muddy stormwater, called sediment, from reaching the beautiful blue bay. One grant is from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and NOAA, (Press Release 1) and the other is through DPNR from the EPA 319h program (Press Release 2). Details in the links.
Feb. 7th 2017
“Trash to Art” Competition
The Coral Bay Community Council, Eudora Kean High School, and Gifft Hill School came together to organize a unique art competition. On Thursday, February 2nd, high school students from Eudora Kean and Gifft Hill met at the Resource Depot on St. John to make art from something we have plenty of in the Virgin Islands — Trash. The art competition’s goal was to get the youth in the Virgin Islands to consider the amount of waste created in the territory, what can be done about the issue, and how to start thinking about trash as a resource.
The two dozen students were separated into 6 teams, given time to organize their ideas, and then from old electronics, scrap metal, plastics, tires, and other assorted waste materials were asked to make sculptures reflective of cultural and environmental aspects here in the Virgin Islands. The groups had 90 minutes to put together their art. The winning sculpture was selected from a panel of judges that included professional boxer/chef Julius Jackson, Alice Krall from VI Waste Management, and artist/co-creator of Dimes and Nickels, Dhymond Nicholls.
The winning team was made up of Tyreke Morton and Maeven Parsil from Gifft Hill School and Deiondra Chaldwell and Cheyenne Richardson from Eudora Kean HS, who constructed a mangrove scene from trash.
Scott Eanes from the Coral Bay Community Council had this to say about the competition: “This took the entire St. John community to organize; it is inspiring how everyone came together to give these young adults a unique experience.”
Julius Jackson added “This is great. Wish they had this when I was in school.”
Thanks to the many sponsors of the event: Prizes for the competition were donated from Skinny Legs, Mumbo Jumbo, Jolly Dogs, Indigo Grill, Island Muse, and Dancing Rooster, all businesses in Coral Bay. St. John Hardware in Cruz Bay donated tools and equipment to help the kids construct their statues. Ronnie’s Pizza, also in Cruz Bay, donated several large pizzas to feed the hungry youth. Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services, the ferry companies, helped by giving the Eudora Kean students $2 roundtrip tickets. Island Green Living Association provided the Resource Depot facility. Dr. Dave Minner and his EARTH program including his interns were an integral addition to the logistics of the art competition.
“This was a total team effort by the Virgin Islands community and we are really pleased how this all came together and was executed” said teacher Veronica Pozas of Gifft Hill School, noting she would like to see the art competition to become an annual event and include more schools.
Scott Eanes’ time on this cooperative project with the two high schools was funded by a USDA – Rural Utilities Service Solid Waste Management grant which is intended to provide outreach into the community on reducing waste and increasing reuse and recycling. The Coral Bay Community Council, Eudora Kean, and Gifft Hill School are hoping to make this an annual event.
For more information contact Scott Eanes of the Coral Bay Community Council at 776-2099.
Jan 3, 2017
PSA video: Youth Involvement to Help Solve Our Solid Waste problems
The Coral Bay Community Council, through a project funded by an EPA Environmental Justice Grant, empowered involved youth in our St. John community to get the word out about illegal dumping and careless disposal of trash into ghuts. Of course, when there are heavy rains that same trash in the ghuts will end up being carried to the ocean. Thus, the message is: “if we keep the land clean, we will keep the ocean clean also.” Click for Youtube link to Public Service Announcement Video
As part of two youth events held for 12 to 18 year old students which included ghut cleanup walks, presentations and a field trip, a Public Services Announcement (PSA) video was produced to get the message out against ghut dumping and illegal dumping.
CBCC thanks the student participants, the Island Green Living Association, VI Waste Management Authority, Frank Tulloch, videographer, and the Environmental Protection Agency for their contributions to this program. For more information contact Sean Richardson, Environmental Projects Manager, at CBCC’s office – 340-776-2099.