FRIENDS LINES UP SEMINARS AND BEACH CLEANUPS FOR OCEAN WEEK ON ST. JOHN
PRESS RELEASE: St.John, US Virgin Islands, October 4, 2021 — Inspired by Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, Friends of Virgin Islands National Park focuses on issues and actions related to marine conservation and trash cleanup on St. John for a week every October. This year Ocean Week runs from October 18 to 23 and includes a series of four virtual seminars covering topics like turtle protection, island recycling, coral conservation, and fishes found in our waters, as well as beach cleanups. In addition, the Trails Volunteer Program kicks off that week for the 2021/2022 season.
“Ocean Week gives us the opportunity to engage our members and community in helping nurture and protect our coastal environment,” says Tonia Lovejoy, Executive Director, Friends of Virgin Islands National Park. “This past week, Fourth Graders from Gifft Hill School got a head start on Ocean Week and picked up trash at Trunk Beach which was inspiring and exciting to see. Our thanks to these young environmental guardians for their hard work in helping keep our beaches clean.”
OCEAN WEEK SEMINARS
Ocean Week Seminars will be virtual and take place at noon from Tuesday, October 19 to Friday, October 22. Anyone wishing to attend will be sent zoom call information as soon as they register on the Friends website. They program includes:
- One World, One Ocean: Protecting the Sea Turtles of St. John presented by Adren Anderson and Willow Melamet, VINP Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program Coordinators.
- Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle presented by Kelly Lawson, Executive Director, Island Green Living Association.
- Initiatives that Support Seagrass Meadows and Coral Reefs in the USVI presented by Danielle Olive, Fisheries Biologist I and Victoria Beasley, Wildlife Biologist II DFW-DPNR.
- An Underwater Scavenger Hunt: Cryptic Fish of St. John presented by Lee Richter, Marine Biological Science Technician, National Park Service.
OCEAN WEEK BEACH CLEAN UP
Friends will be cleaning up Drunk Bay beach on Saturday, October 23 and everyone is welcome to join. The meeting point is Salt Pond parking lot at 9:00AM. This event is perfect for students needing community service hours. In addition, business and individuals may adopt other beaches. Gloves and bags will be available all week at the Friends shop in the National Park Visitor Center for anyone wishing to help.
VINP TRAILS VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Friends maintains the 27 miles of trails in the park as well as a number of historical sites and ruins. The park volunteer walkup trails program managed by Friends begins on Tuesday, October 19 and runs every Tuesday and Thursday until the end of May 2022. Work locations and meeting points and times for each week are posted on Friends of Virgin Islands National Park’s social media pages every Monday.
To register for one of the seminars or receive more information on the beach cleanups and trail volunteer programs visit www.friendsvinp.org.