BEACH Buddies has been praised by the island of Bermuda for setting global standards in beach cleaning, following an online presentation given by the Manx charity this week.
The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) event was the latest in a series which features discussions with individuals leading innovative sustainable ocean strategies on their island homelands.
The event was part of the BUEI’s Island SOS series and a spokeswoman said, “Biosphere reserves are learning areas for sustainable development under diverse ecological, social and economic contexts. They operate by bringing people and the environment together to build sustainable communities to preserve environments that provide habitats for nature, marine and birdlife.”
The spokeswoman said Beach Buddies, founded in 2006, has set global standards in beach cleaning and addressing marine plastics. She added, “Beach Buddies seeks to encourage new Unesco Biosphere Reserves by offering easy but structured guidance points to encourage groups, families, schools and individuals to get together and protect their island to make a positive environmental impact.”
“Bill has become a frequent guest speaker highlighting the work of his organisation around the world and will share these methods during his BUEI talks presentation. The spokeswoman added that while the Isle of Man is 11 times larger than Bermuda with 55 per cent more coastline, the population is only about 26 per cent larger than Bermuda’s.
Karla Lacey, BUEI CEO, said, “The Isle of Man is a perfect example of how enormous change is achievable from a small population. It is our hope that this particular Island SOS instalment drives home the point that these types of large-scale initiatives can be carried out here in Bermuda.
“With a comparable population size, it is evident that environmental care has become a part of the everyday lifestyle for the Isle of Man’s community and in Bermuda this can be the same.”
An article in the island’s ‘Royal Gazette’ newspaper said, “Bill Dale, founder of Beach Buddies, took to the stage at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute to discuss how the Isle of Man was able to achieve Unesco Biosphere Reserve status.”
Beach Buddies founder Bill Dale said, “This is a wonderful accolade, not just Beach Buddies but for everyone in the Isle of Man, especially the many thousands who have changed the way they think about the disposal of rubbish and have taken part in cleaning sessions, not just on beaches but all over our Island.
“We have spent a lot of time in recent years trying to share our experiences with other countries and helping them achieve the same success as we have in the Isle of Man, and in the last year there has been a noticeable increase in interest from many places around the world, including Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Florida and now Bermuda.
“The Bermuda connection also opens up an opportunity to engage with other islands, as Bermuda is a member of the International Island Games Association and this could be a really good way to connect with more islands around the world. I see no reason why the member islands can’t all get together and set an example to the rest of the world. This is an exciting time for Beach Buddies and we are really grateful to BUEI for giving us this opportunity.”
• Beach Buddies is sponsored by FIM Capital and receives annual funding from DEFA.