Nature Advocates

Nature Advocates

Yessy Arends, the savior of cats on the island and by profession a dedicated veterinary assistant, morphed into a team member at the Office of Nature & Environment, DNM, on a team of 14 government employees, in charge of the well-being of everything, every leaf, every wing, every paw.

Their FB page says the following about the directorate of Nature and Environment: The entity’s primary task is to formulate policies and the enforcement of nature and environmental laws of Aruba. It also executes other tasks in the areas of Research and Monitoring (such as water- and seabird monitoring) and is in charge of National Awareness of nature and environmental related topics.

Wow, that’s a mouthful.

Yessy told me about a new website which you should all visit,, it is an initiative of the Ministry on Infrastructure & Environment, it is a platform to registering our ached and pains, from littering to illegal construction, littering/dumping, potholes, cruelty to animals, to oil spills. Just go on line, list your complaint and a Centralist, a member of the team, will direct your protest to the correct government office for resolution.

The website went live on June 14th and since then registered 285 cases handled 123 and resolved 56.

Yessy explains that any health and sustainability issue can be reported because her department want to encourage RESPONSIBILITY among merchants, individuals and the government.

This girl is walking on air, happy to be of service to nature. Her first day on the job included beach inspection and documentation, in view of a suspected oil stain traveling in the area. Her second day included instruction from the First Lady of Nature, Olinda Rasmijn, who broke down the differences and similarities between four species of mangroves.

Her work as a Centralist consists of writing reports, Dutch, Papiamento, English, and I bet you this new initiative,, will keep her busy. I like it, a clear channel of communication with the authority.

Another advocate of Aruba environment is Ulysses Matarozzi of Sea Solutions N.V. He is not as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as Yessy, he’s been removing underwater debris for the past ten years: I am frustrated, he explains, 30 years in Aruba, working in the tourism industry for eleven of those, attempting to minimize the effect of tourism pollution, collecting debris, dredging mud, picking up, creating swimming safety zones.  

Ulysses recently lost 80% of his business, to a more aggressive and more connected competitor, and doesn’t feel the love nor the appreciation for the work that he does.

I appreciate it Ulysses! I see one of your man every week, sitting in a rubber bagel cleaning the barnacles off the swim zone ropes. I see you at Boca Catalina, collecting what we allow to reach the water. It’s an endless battle.

FYI: Sea Solutions cleans the shallows on the Palm beach area, from Phoenix Hotel to the Ritz Carlton. De Palm island, and the hotels on Eagle Beach.

He feels the Ritz Carlton is the best steward of his beach, with less debris found in the ocean. I checked. Indeed, the manager of the beach restaurant doesn’t pay out tips, unless her servers scour the beach clean, until every plastic straw is gathered, and the resort will be moving away from single-use shortly.

My GF Carla posts a picture almost every day of her #5minutebeachcleanup, sometimes her snapshot is incredibly revolting with not just butts and bottle caps, but diapers, sanitary napkins, and condoms. Humanity is exasperating and infuriating.




Share on:

June 25, 2018
Rona Coster