PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (Feb. 20, 2013) - The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau partnered with Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) in 2009 to establish the Blue Flag Program in St. Maarten to launch a continuous environmental awareness campaign aimed at encouraging residents and visitors to dispose of their waste in a responsible manner. This partnership enjoys the full support of the Honorable Minister Romeo F. Pantophlet and was initiated under the direction of Mr. Frans Richardson, former commissioner of tourism, and Ms. Regina LaBega, former director of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau.
As part of this campaign the Tourist Bureau and EPIC developed environmental codes of conduct signs and have been working on placing garbage bins on all of St. Maarten's beaches. This past week 18 garbage bins were placed on Mullet Bay Beach and four were placed on Kim Sha Beach.
Several environmental codes of conduct signs have already been installed on Great Bay Beach, Little Bay Beach and at Isle de Sol Marina. Shortly, similar signs will be set on Mullet Bay and Kim Sha Beach followed by the placement of signs and bins on additional beaches in the near future.
"As a destination with 37 beautiful beaches, we are taking every measure to keep them clean and pristine to enable residents and visitors to relax and enjoy the perfect setting in the Caribbean. In order to do this, we would like to solicit the cooperation of beach users to make responsible use of the bins and aide us in keeping our beaches clean for all," said Edward Dest, interim director of tourism for the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau.
According to EPIC project manager Rueben J. Thompson, the foundation is extremely pleased to see this project being carried out successfully. Thompson called on the public at large to make proper use of the bins and refrain from abusing them.
The project was made a reality in partnership with and through the hard work and contributions of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC), St. Maarten Pride Foundation, St Maarten Timeshare Association and The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure.
For more information on St. Maarten visit the official site of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau at www.VacationStMaarten.com.
St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, Kingdom of the Netherlands and France, creating a European-influenced vibe with a Caribbean flair. As "the culinary capital of the Caribbean," St. Maarten offers an eclectic array of cuisine fusion for food lovers with more than 365 restaurants, one for each day of the year to satisfy the tastes of every palate and pocketbook.
Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island's 37 square miles has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to many historical and family-oriented attractions. During the day, watersport enthusiasts can take full advantage of the island's scuba diving and snorkeling facilities. The capital of Philipsburg offers duty-free shopping with a bustling city atmosphere, while 14 casinos and numerous nightclubs provide endless entertainment.
Accommodations are varied and include elegant private villas, family oriented resorts, quaint cottages and luxury spa resorts. Air service is available to Princess Juliana International Airport from numerous U.S. and Canadian cities as well as from Europe, South America and the Caribbean.
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