PHILIPSBURG- The Nature Foundation St. Maarten has begun presenting at local schools on St. Maarten about plastic and how to keep our environment safe and healthy. The presentations are within the In-No-Plastic Project, a European Union-funded global initiative. The presentations teach local students how to limit their plastic use and the effects plastic has on the island’s ecosystem.
“We are very excited to be back in the classrooms and talking to local students about how we protect St. Maarten’s environment. These presentations are impactful and interactive. Through this program we hope to push students to think critically about their actions,” stated Alice Manley, project coordinator. “The students have been showing great interest in environmental protection, with some older students asking how they can volunteer or be more active in conservation!”
In-No-Plastic concentrates on innovative methods towards the prevention, removal, and reuse of marine plastic litter. Nature Foundation and In-No-Plastic staff will introduce various social strategies to reduce the plastic usage on the island by providing information on various social platforms and presenting to the local school groups. Staff will also monitor the amount of plastic found in our coastal areas over time. In addition, this project offers a large contribution to the Nature Foundation’s conservation educational materials as well as outreach efforts and activities.
Within the school presentations, topics such as the Nature Foundation tasks, In-No-Plastic project tasks, differences between single-use and multi-use plastic, the St. Maarten plastic ban, and further information about plastic and their effects on the environment are discussed. Students are also given the opportunity to take part in hands-on activities and groups can add practical applications to the presentations such as a field trip to participate in a clean-up!
“Presenting to St. Maarten’s students is incredibly important and so we are very glad to be able to be back in the classrooms with the students again. The youth of St. Maarten is our future, and the Nature Foundation will continue to protect and preserve our environment for generations to come. We believe that sharing this vital information with students, residents and tourists, will expand their knowledge of the work we do and why we do it,” stated Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern, Nature Foundation manager. “This will help to create members of our community who are advocates for the protection of our island and its natural resources.”