GENCO and NAMEPA Team Up to Save Our Seas

Company Beach Cleanup Nets 328 Pounds of Trash

Photo: GENCO Environment Stewardship Team (CEO John Wobensmith front row, third from right; COO Rob Hughes second row 6th from right) and NAMEPA’s Carleen Lyden Walker (second from right)

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.

Media contact: Michele Ferguson or +1 203 255 4686

ABOUT GENCOGENCO Shipping and Trading Ltd is a leading provider of international drybulk transportation services. They transport iron ore, coal, grain, steel products and other drybulk cargoes along worldwide shipping routes. Their wholly owned modern and diverse fleet of dry cargo vessels include Capesize, Panamax, Ultramax, Supramax and Handysize vessels that provide an essential link in international trade.

ABOUT NAMEPA – The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is a marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. Visit us at

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