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Environment / Featured / News / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / September 30, 2019

ST. CROIX — Students from the UVI Psychology Club on Saturday hosted a cleanup at the Altona Lagoon in Christiansted as part of the International Coastal Clean-up Month. While the students worked on the rainy morning to collect trash at the popular spot, they were disappointed by the amount of refuse that was collected, and called on those who frequent the Lagoon to pick up after themselves.

“We found more trash than ever because people have parties here, but they have a mind to not care. They say ‘oh, somebody will pick it up for me,’ and it goes into the water and animals are in danger,” the Psychology Club students told the Consortium Saturday morning while sheltering from a downpour.

“They don’t care about their surroundings. We found a lot of beer bottles, weed (marijuana), trash in the water. Crazy,” they said.

Students of the UVI Psychology Club on St. Croix (Ernice Gilbert, VIC)

The students made it a point to stress the negative impact of littering. They spoke of damage to both the soil and water caused by garbage. Indeed, hazardous chemicals can leach out of the litter and pollute the soil and water bodies located nearby. These toxins then enter the human body via the food chain. The contaminants also stunt plant growth and cause health issues in animals living in the area. Littering can also lead to air pollution, and it can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitos, which can spread a number of viral disease.

Group Shot of the UVI Psychology Club on St. Croix (Ernice Gilbert, VIC)

The cleanup was part of a class, and students were to write a one-page paper about their experience, which, going by their conversation with the Consortium, will lay bare the disregard for the environment by those who utilize the Lagoon.

“They come with garbage bags and they still don’t place the trash in the bags,” the students said.

Asked what message they would like to relay to the community, the students were blunt: “If you bring your trash, go with your trash. Be mindful of the environment because you don’t leave your house like that, so why would you leave outside like this?”

Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

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