To celebrate Earth Day, volunteers from the U.S. Embassy, Nature Trust (Malta), the Mellieha Local Council, Malta National Aquarium, Maltaqua Dive School, Sharklab, Orangeshark H2o Diving Centers and HSBC Bank, together with several international students, cleaned up trash at Armier Bay on Friday, April 22.
The volunteers collected a total of 600 kg of trash from the sand dunes, the seabed and surrounding area: 190 kg of general waste, 266 kgs of metal and glass, 58 kg of plastic and 86 kgs of trash from the sea.
Coastal trash is a serious pollution problem that affects the health of people, wildlife and local economies. Ocean issues are a high priority on the U.S. foreign policy agenda. The United States and many international partners are committed to promoting sustainable fishing and to combating marine pollution and ocean acidification.
U.S. Ambassador G. Kathleen Hill, Mr. John Buttigieg, Mayor of Mellieha, and officials from HSBC Bank participated in the environmental project. Dr. Anthony Grupetta of Nature Trust Malta described the land and marine environment, highlighting the impact of debris on ecologically sensitive areas such as Armier Bay.
Commenting on the activity, Ambassador Hill reiterated President Obama’s commitment to ocean stewardship. She said, “By keeping our beaches, seas and oceans clean we can maintain a healthy and productive marine environment and marine ecosystems.”