Sunday, December 09, 2007

Maintenance is Preservation

Operation Clean Sweep 2007 was a thorough success and a good start. With well over 200 people participating, the beaches of Hassel Island were swarming with volunteers picking up trash. The crew got an early start to catch the 6am barge in order to be in Crown Bay for the organizational meeting. Our mission was to educate on the island's history, make sure nothing important was put in the trash and coordination. Following the briefing, we then boarded a vessel provided by Coral World, that took the groups to Creque Marine and Careening Cove. The weather was bright yet blustery so the vessel had a hard time docking at Careening Cove. Thankfully, Seatow was on hand to ferry the kids boat by boat to the cleanup site. The groups of school kids were fantastic and did a great job; it was really a site to see years of trash finally coming off the shores. “Hassel Island Clean Sweep” was launched in cooperation with Virgin Islands National Park Service, the St. Thomas Historical Trust, the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, Essence Properties, Inc., Sea Tow Virgin Islands, and other entities in the Virgin Islands Government.

Disembarking at Creque Marine.
Seatow's Captain Alan Wentworth ferrying the groups over to the beaches.
Happy ROTC students with Honorable Delegate Donna Christenson

...and some of the kids that made it happen

After running out of trash bags, it was time for lunch. Again, all the students were ferried back to Mr. Sharaf's property on Hassel Island for a celebratory BBQ. Everyone then got T-shirts that read "Maintenance is Preservation." It was a great day and thanks to everyone for all the work. Now that the initial clean up is done, we hope to get a chance to map/gps the historic hardware around the Slipway and to document the many objects that were hidden from view.

Elvis, Kourtney, Ken Katie, Susanna

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