GENCO and NAMEPA Team Up for Beach Cleanup


By The Maritime Executive 10-01-2019 09:48:36

As part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean-Up annual program, New York based drybulk shipping company GENCO Shipping and Trading Ltd (GNK) and NAMEPA (North American Marine Environment Protection Association) partnered to clean a beach on Coney Island, Brooklyn last week. CEO John Wobensmith and COO Rob Hughes were joined by 40 other members of the “GENCO Environment Stewardship Team” to collect over 300 pounds of trash.  

“GENCO works to protect the environment both on land and at sea as part of our commitment to sustainability” stated Rob Hughes.  “We feel it is important for everyone to play a role in protecting the environment and were pleased to partner with NAMEPA to execute this project.”

The cleanup was timed to coincide with Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.  The results from GENCO’s efforts will be submitted to Ocean Conservancy who gathers data from cleanups around the world and presents the definitive report on global marine debris to the United Nations.  The top three items collected are consistently cigarette butts, plastic bottles and food wrappers.  While this played out in the GENCO cleanup, additional significant items were a tire, an abandoned grill, and a bedframe.

“GENCO leadership demonstrated clearly last week the importance of collaborating to “Save our Seas” claimed Carleen Lyden Walker, Co-Founder and Executive Director of NAMEPA.  “As much as globalization pervades all aspects of our lives, so does the need to take action to protect our environment.  GENCO’s efforts, including family members as young as 3 months, reinforced this shared responsibility.”

“What was striking during the cleanup” observed Hughes “was that while we were removing trash from the beach there were people engaged in subsistence fishing just yards away.  We learned from the NAMEPA staff that each week we consume the equivalent of a credit card’s worth of microplastics embedded in our food.  That was horrifying.”

NAMEPA engages with its members to support beach cleanups, “Lunch and Learns”, and education with the public to raise awareness about marine debris.  This issue is also currently being examined by the International Maritime Organization under MARPOL Annex V.

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