JMU News

Malta's Coast Gets Clean-Up Help


Program students pitch in for the Ocean Conservancy’s 30th annual International Coastal Cleanup

By: Carley Rice
Photo Credit: Tyler McGilvery

Students in JMU’s dual degree master’s program in Malta help with coastal clean-up.

JMU’s Malta Program students helped collect over 600 pounds of trash on the Maltese coast as a way of thanking their host country and showing their commitment to environmental sustainability. Each year organizations and individuals across the globe participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s annual event designed to raise awareness of its “vision for a healthy ocean.”

Dozens of international students worked closely with local residents on the cleanup effort led by many key local organizations such as the Malta National Aquarium, Nature Trust Malta, and Bird Life Malta. The US Embassy in Malta partnered in the event as well. Over 600 pounds of trash were collected from the shoreline and seabed with the help of volunteers through beach combing, snorkeling and diving.

More than half of the collected material was recyclable. Program student Jordain De Fontes commented on the amount of debris collected that day. "Everyone who came out was really dedicated to collecting as much trash as they possibly could in the limited time frame we had. At the end, when all the trash was brought together in one place, it was incredible to see how much there actually was. It shows that there needs to be more public interest in preserving Malta's coastline.” 

Much of the collected trash was recyclable material.

For JMU’s volunteers, the day was a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and build community as stewards of the local environment. Trevor Wilson summed the cleanup experience as a day of teamwork and cooperation. He said, “It was refreshing to see collaboration between US and Maltese agencies to clean up the coastline and help preserve our natural environment. It showed me that not only do people care at every level, but also that there are people who care all around the world.”


Published: Monday, December 12, 2016

Last Updated: Monday, April 2, 2018

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