Cleaning up the plastic and saving marine wildlife

Rebecca Mathews Start Date: Jul 27, 2018 - End Date: Nov 23, 2018
  • Tamuning, Guam

My Travel Story

by: Rebecca Mathews Start Date: Jul 27, 2018 - End Date: Nov 23, 2018

I appreciate you taking the time to read my message. I am a student at my local community college and I am leaving here soon to go abroad to continue my studies and pursue my passion of volunteer work. I joke that I go to school so I can get my dream job that supports me volunteering 24/7. Because it truly is a passion of mine, the environment and all it's animals are having a hard time adjusting to the plastic waste and in the case of Guam, invasive brown snakes have wiped out all the native ground birds and the rest are struggling.

June 5th 2018 a new law was passed in Guam finally banning plastic bags yet the law doesn't take effect until two years. Mean while there are still a lot of clean up that needs to be done as the trash that washes ashore happens daily. It effects the tourism on Guam as well as hurts the marine life and saddens the locals.

Part of my accommodation money will be used to make these volunteer efforts more sustainable and will allow them to purchase the sanitary gear needed to collect the garbage and possibly even the recycling center as their role is just as critical in the many different efforts on keep the Island of Guam a healthy and thriving environment for the animals and people who co-inhabit together.

The Haggan green sea turtle once very common is Guam is now rare, along with all of it's native species. The environment has changed so rapidly in Guam that the animals didn't have enough time to adapt and most fell victim. The plastic, the temps rising and the invasive brown snakes from the 1950's vessels have thrived off the local species and it's helping these communities who are doing the work that ensures us that not only is it improving but it will get better and studies show that in a few years local species and start being introduced again.

I am moving here to make it my career and life mission to keep Guams beaches clean, rehabilitate animals and the environment anyway I can. When I am not out vounteering and turning in homework I actively donate too. I traveled and lived abroad for three years and helped clean up Costa Rica. I grew up in the country of Illinois to very abusive and cruel parents they lost custody and I aged out of the foster care system. My mom dropped out of 8th grade and I always wanted to do something different from my family, I went into foster care when I was 14 and was finally able to eat and sleep in peace. I appreciate a clean and happy home, I used to not know what it felt like to have one. The bigger picture is earth is my home and I want to bring more self awareness into my life and leave as little as a foot print as I can.

It's not a vacation as it's very emotional for me to see how much environmental destruction is happening as the modern day technology advances but so does our ability to handle and address these issues and begin reversing them.

I am a member of Volunteer Guam, they use Faceable to communicate and I am raising funds for them and for my student lodging. Updates and photos will be posted there too.

If you have read this and felt moved or inspired or even if you learned something new about Guam I would greatly appreciate all your help and well wishes.

Thank you for caring and believing in me,

your friend,

Rebecca Mathews

Keeping plastic out of the environment through the labor or love!
  • Tamuning, Guam