BIODIVERSITY wrote -
Limpia Mahahual – Not Beyond This Line!
Marine plastics pollution is “a toxic time bomb.” - United Nations Environment Programme
The region around Mahahual is “the last bastion of the Caribbean in terms of conservation in México.” - 2012 Campaign Volunteer and Business Leader
Like Diamonds, Plastics Last Forever!
Do you use plastic products? Plastic bottles, plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic chairs and buckets, plastic pipes, plastic food packaging, plastics in electronic equipment – a breathtaking range of synthetic, durable products. It’s difficult to imagine life without plastic. In 2002, about 107 billion pounds of plastic were produced in North America alone! Though inexpensive and long-lived, plastic has tremendous environmental issues associated with it. One of the most significant environmental problems is the improper disposal of plastic goods by consumers. Plastic trash often makes its way into coastal ecosystems and oceans, presenting a danger to marine life, mangrove forests, coral reefs, coastal birds, and other types of biodiversity.
A Tiny, Remote Village with a Huge, Global Problem!
Mahahaul, a small fishing village in the Costa Maya Region in the State of Quintana Roo, is located next to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and Xcalak National Reef Park: the major protected natural areas in the Mexican Caribbean. High-density tourism and outdoor recreation are two principal economic activities for the region. Given the proximity of the Mesoamerican Reef System coincident with thousands of tourists and recreationists, Mahahual has tremendous international significance for conservation. Unfortunately, the southeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula sits along the path of regional oceanic currents that act like an aquatic conveyor, carrying a steady stream of plastics garbage from the Caribbean and Central and South America. The multiple origins of marine plastics pollution include land-based discharge, shipping, fishing boats, cruise ships, offshore military operations, and other sources: some intentional, some inadvertent. Mahahual then is the unwitting victim of mountains of plastic garbage from around the world!
A Grassroots Campaign to Make a Difference!
“Limpia Mahahual – Not Beyond This Line” is an international campaign between the United States and México to conserve the southeastern coastline of the Yucatán Peninsula against marine plastics pollution. The campaign will begin on 1 February 2013 with three important steps:
- Step 1: Beach clean-up - $23,500
4th annual beach clean-up on Saturday, 23 February 2013, with goals of attracting 500 youth and adult volunteers who will collect 10 tons of beach trash including 750 bags of rubbish and 1000 bags of PETE! Another goal is the support of 50 sponsors and allies plus expanded media attention. For the 2012 clean-up, the Los Angeles Times featured our effort front-page and Calypso Films produced a 15-minute documentary that aired internationally!
An important note: All donations over our goal of $23,500 will go toward Steps 2 and 3 outlined below.
- Step 2: Scalable recycling station
The recycling center will be built on federal land with a donated plastics shredder.
- Step 3: Scalable environmental center
The center will also contain exhibits, a gift shop of recycled plastic products, and a plastics sculpture garden!
An International Collaboration!
“Limpia Mahahual – Not Beyond This Line” is a project coordinated by two nonprofit principals: Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI, Gorham, Maine USA) with Sustenta/Heel Habilidades A.C. (México, D.F.). Through the dedicated efforts of the two collaborating organizations over several consecutive years, staff members have amassed an on-site volunteer network of federal agencies, corporations, industry, educational institutions, and private businesses to assist with the project’s objectives.
It’s a Matter of Choice and Caring!
Won’t you please help our campaign to remove plastic pollution from these beautiful beaches and then send it to recycling facilities? Your support will help to protect the wildlife and the beaches, mangroves, and reefs around Mahahual. Your support will assist this tiny community deal with the huge impacts of tourism and recreation on their sensitive natural resources. Your support will also help showcase Mahahual as a conservation model for other parts of the world with similar issues.
Like Sand Grains on a Beach, Every Dollar Counts!
Please consider a donation to our campaign. Every dollar counts, and your donation is 100% tax-deductible. If you have questions, please contact us.
Biodiversity Research Institute: www.briloon.org
Sustenta Soluciones/Heel Habilidades A.C.: www.sustenta.com
For updates on the campaign, please visit: http://www.limpiamahahual.org.